Monday, December 31, 2012

Goodbye, 2012. Don't let the ball hit you on the way out.

Back in January, we all had such high hopes for this year. And it didn't start out all that badly. But by the time we got to the second half, I was ready to throw in the towel. November/December made this an awful year on record. My father had a stroke in November. He's doing much better now, back to work and driving, but his speech is still waffly. I know it could have been much worse, and I'm thankful it wasn't. I've gone out there more than I normally would be to help out as much as I can but it isn't enough. My mother is wrung out. Then comes December, all innocent. Worrying already about Christmas (I always do), my grandmother took a turn for the worse. She'd been in and out of the hospital for a while after a fall broke her let. She was transfered to a rehab center to get her walking again and she never made it that far. Another 2 falls and she was back in the hospital. On December 7th, they removed her from the cpap machine, gave her a bit of morphine, and allowed her to slip away in sleep. Several of my relatives made it down in time to say goodbye, my mother wasn't one of them. She had to stay and help my father still and there just wasn't time. She slid quite rapidly down that slope of health, they'd been talking about sending her home again provided she kept recovering like she was. Then just turned and went the other way. My sister called and told her she loved her, I couldn't bring myself to do it. My grandmother is and was a large part of my life. I stayed with her for a few years when I was younger and was always being dropped off there. There were always letters and phone calls and cards and newspaper clippings.Money she'd send and I'd call and yell about it (then send it back in her birthday cards so she could yell at me). She loved the dishcloths my mother and I made. A friend of hers used to make them and when she got to the point where she couldnt make them any longer, we took up the call. I have 3 sitting near me that my mother made, I was going to make a 4th and mail it down. She liked the natural shades and creams best. That washcloth sat on my needles forever, mocking me silently. Why didn't I finish it? It wouldnt have been a challenge, I made those while reading. Yes, other things came up but it wouldnt have been that much a chore to work that in and send them out. But I never did. I finally picked them up again a few days ago. I finished my grandmothers washcloth and started another. She praised how good a job we both did with them, even though my mothers always looked better. On the day she passed, I didn't have a chance to cry. It was my daughters birthday, she turned 9. I could either show up to pick her up and ruin her day with it or shunt it aside and make sure she didn't suffer. To this day, I still havent cried, it's still sinking in. I found the cards she'd sent last year for christmas when we pulled out decorations. One of my sisters found a letter from her in a drawer, long forgotten. The magazine she always renewed came in the mail. I bought a calendar and remembered she'd always send me one (every organization mailed her one, plus she had a couple for christmas). Little things that make you remember her, it didn't hurt to remember. It was just there. She keeps popping into my head. The obituary is printed out and lays next to me, she'd have hated the photo. Always complained they turned out awful.The pictures from this summers visit are still on my phone, we actually got a picture of my two sisters and I with my mother and grandmother. All my grandmothers children got to pose for a picture with her. I almost kept the birthday cards she'd sent us this year. Little signs I should have read, little hints that she might not be with us long, I ignored them all. But she's no longer in pain, she's at peace. We'll say goodbye in the spring and I can visit her, it's not far a walk. I love you grandma, and I miss you so.

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