“It is well with my soul”. My heart, on the other hand, aches. Last week was one difficulty after another. The final blow came when I was called about my grandmother. My Granny. At 89 years old, her body is giving out. Hospice has been called in. We’ve known for awhile that our time with her was growing short-just not this short.
The hospice is like no other. It is being led by my very own father-my hero! I went to Granny’s Friday night and watched in awe at the strength of my dad who is a hospice nurse himself. He made sure all of the medications were ordered and delivered to help ease Granny’s pain and help her to leave us with dignity. We met together to love on Granny, care for her, and care for each other. I watched my father graciously explain each of the medications with detail like no other health professional I had met. He taught how to give the medications, when to give it, and signs of things we needed to be aware of. I’ve watched his strength and compassion-but if you know my Dad-that is what embodies him.
Our family was pouring in from North Carolina to New Hampshire. A bittersweet time to celebrate life, say thank you for being such an incredible mother, grandmother, and how much each of us love her. It was a sweet time to be with my cousin, Kelly, who is like my sister. I found myself having to be called out to go back to Granny’s at 1 Sunday morning. I delivered a baby monitor so my aunt and one of my cousins & his fiance could try to rest in between giving medications. Kelly mentioned she was hungry. None of us had really felt hungry at dinner. My aunt’s face lit up and she said “lets go to breakfast”. We joked about when the last time we’d been to breakfast at 2 in the morning. Together, the three of us realized this was a special time-sieze the moment. It was a sweet time to make a memory-to be with one another and refresh one another.
Sunday was most difficult-Larry & I had been concentrating on shepherding our kids through the process of saying Goodbye on this side of life. Larry has been wonderful- knowing my number one priority is my children and making sure my babies are handling their grief. I have been proud of them, as each one made the decision to go see their great-grandmother when they felt they were ready. My daughter showed much grace as she said she would rather hold on to the memory of sweet visit 3 weeks ago. It really was a blessed time. Granny was a bit more clear headed and so happy we had come. We took her flowers, pies (her favorite chocolate cream), and watched part of the 17 innings of the Orioles game. Emily said that was one of the best sweetest visits we had had in a few months. I totally agree. Matthew got up the courage to go Saturday, he stood in front of her telling her he loves her. Granny’s eyes opened wide and she said “I love you too” with much clarity and strength in her voice. What a sweet comfort and grace. Thomas stayed near her as much as he could. I was blessed to see him talk to her. Patrick also surprised me as he stayed around the family as long as he did. An extra special gift to him was his cousin Noah. The boys were born exactly two weeks apart. Noah&Patrick were good medicine for each other. Other blessing were my nephews, Tony&Justin (Tony just happened to be in town for a wedding:) who stopped by. Sweet reminders of times invested in two boys who have grown into fine husbands&fathers. Larry& I showed these boys the same love we had learned from Granny.
Today we went by and now my Great Aunt Eleanor has joined the care team-she is also a hospice nurse. What a blessing to be surrounded by so many who love and care for my grandmother. The hugs from relatives and the promise I would stop in tomorrow to visit are sweet. These are hard times yet we have been reminded to think about the legacy this woman is leaving. What kind of legacy will we leave? I have more than just a simple treasure in this woman!!