I’ve wanted to blog so many times over the last few months but my heart just hasn’t been in it.
I planned to be part of a blogging project in November but when Blogger decided it would rather not publish my scheduled posts and deleted them instead, I didn’t have it in me to write them all again.
The last few months have tested me and beaten me down in ways that I haven’t felt in a while outside of school. This semester it was my personal life that was tested.
At the end of the summer, right before I was to head back to school, mom got a call from grammy’s nursing home that she wasn’t doing well and it could be her final moments. We raced to her bedside, and there she was, alone and scared in the dark, left to pass alone. I immediately turned on her lights and held her hand. Slowly she started to squeeze it. Then her eyelids started to flutter. She was scared. She alternated between saying “it just happened so fast” and “Grandma loves you.” Within a few hours her color began to return, she looked better, and was talking with us as if nothing had happened.
She was even “with it” enough to give my relationship with my love her blessing.
Mom went to check on her the next day and we talked on the phone for a little while. Grammy promised that she’d cook and give me “a good feed” when I came home for Thanksgiving… she hadn’t lived at home in a year and a half and hadn’t been allowed near a stove in even longer as she had Alzheimer’s and could not remain safe in a kitchen. But in her mind, she was at home and come hell or high water, she was going to cook for her granddaughter when she came home from school for Thanksgiving.
She continued to do well until she caught pneumonia. On a Friday as I was sitting to take my first mid-term, mom called and told me that if I wanted to see Grammy I had to go home ASAP. I took my exam in record time, threw some clothes in a bag, and jumped in the car.
When I got there, grammy looked so small and frail in her bed but this time she wasn’t scared, she was just asleep. This time she didn’t squeeze my hand. She didn’t wake up and tell me she loved me. She just slept. It broke my heart to leave her and go to work that Saturday. When I left I knew that would be the last time I’d see grammy. I cried the whole way home.
That Monday, Columbus Day, grammy got her final wish and passed away peacefully in her sleep. Wednesday my father had major surgery. That Friday we laid grammy to rest.
That whole week is a blur to me. Grammy was my only grandparent since my Papa passed away 24 years ago. She would have been 90 on the 28th of this month. Losing her has made me feel broken and empty in a way that I’ve never experienced before. I’ve never cried that hard or felt so lost and numb. Coming home for Thanksgiving and not getting to see her just didn’t feel right. When I was making my list of Christmas cards and presents, I still wrote her and her birthday on the list and it took a few minutes of looking at my list before I'd even realized what I'd done and the sadness washed over me all over again. Being home now without seeing her for Christmas and her birthday feels like I’m forgetting to do something.
The semester had its usual trials and tribulations. Moments when I wondered why I was putting myself through such stress keeping an impossible schedule and adding a weekend job which devoured all of the time I’d normally have to get work done and see my loved ones. Some weekends at work reaffirmed that I love what I do and I’m in the right field, other weekends made me want to walk away and never look back because it just wasn’t worth the strain it was putting on my life.
Somehow I survived with my GPA and scholarship in tact. I’m cleared to take my boards within the next 2 months and move on to the specialty portion of the NP program.
But my heart is still broken and it has been forever changed.