I need an escape from my mind a lot. It seems like there is too much in there. I am a lot of things: fat, attached to control, a deviant, a witch, a sinner, and many other atrocious mental aspects. I share my sins with others because it is my only escape. On top of all this, I have two wonderful children. I do not know how I have managed so well.
Death has visited my family’s doorstep far too many times in the past few months. I was grateful to see my first grandmother pass, to be near her when she lost her last breath of this time. I am grateful to know that somewhere or somehow, she knew that she was surrounded by children and grandchildren that loved her very much.
I had called my other grandparents to tell them I had received 100% on both essays for ethical communication and ethical business matters for international trade. Grandpa was so happy, he has a laugh that is contagious. I heard him say “Well, what about that…” then laughing and telling grandma all about it before he hung up. I never told him it was a conversation he and I had in his kitchen that convinced me to return back to college. You see, he was in the Air Force and went to school for engineering. When he got a career, it was with G.E. he was a supervisor. I asked him why a college degree meant anything to a hiring supervisor. He said to me “it shows that a person is dedicated to complete a four-year degree,”. I did not think I could do it, I was not a great student in high school. Now I am a 4.00 GPA student in industrial/organizational psychology. My grandfather is many things for me: strength, political combat, a learning of controversial debate.
I have only seen my grandpa show affection twice in my thirty-one-years of life towards my grandma, but I always knew the love was there through the small actions he would take. It was a different time and generation for them when they were young, and one can assume that it carried over into their life. He called my grandmother chief. He begged her for a blind date until she finally broke down and went out with him. I suppose the rest is history. A cool drink of water walking in the door to rescue her.
My grandmother’s story of childhood is not a good one, but it is not mine to post publicly. Let us just say it was not a good life for her in her childhood and teenage years. She always kissed me on the mouth, she always smelled the same, she was always ready to share gossip while grandpa took the kids downstairs to play. She fell two-years ago in the bathroom and knocked her head on the side of the tub causing a large clot in her brain. My grandpa did not wait for an ambulance, his stubborn ass picked her up put her in the car and drove her to the hospital. She had surgery on it and we were there (my husband and I) before she went back to have her skull opened to relieve pressure. She cried, and my husband took her hand in his and said it was going to be okay.
Grandma recovered but they moved into assisted living together. In sixty-years of marriage, they have never been apart. One day, my grandpa had a routine check-up with his doctor. Another healthy as a horse check-up for grandpa. They returned to their apartment but grandma could not get out of the car. She suffered massive stroke to her left side. I left work to be there and was surprised to see no one was in her room but her and I. Just like at the house we had alone time. She was foaming at the mouth due to the mucus and saliva build up in her throat. I held her hand and said “I love you” and she said “I love you too,”. I am not sure if she spoke again after that, no one has said she did. She fell into a vegetative state after that. Her breathing became labored and the family had to make a choice: quality or quantity of life. They choice quality as I would have. She laid in hospice for several days, no fluids, no foods. I held and kissed her hands (the front and palms) and told her it would all be over soon.
Grandpa held his composure until someone asked how long they had been together. Here, this rock of a man, crumbled into a sobbing mess. I could not stand it. It was harder to see him cry than the imminent death. I guess grandpa could not stand it either, Saturday he had a heart attack followed by a stroke that left him with aphasia. Grandma died on Sunday. He is trying his damnedest to join her…it is quite romantic. However, I grieve for him and my grandma. I was just recovering from my first grandma’s demise, and then the next grandma, and no my grandpa is ready to go with her. After all, they have not been separated for sixty years.
Thank you as always to Jenn Bovee
Light up the Darkness,