The slow goodbye is here

This weekend we were supposed to go to our annual family gathering. I just got a call from my mom that it's cancelled. My great-grandmother, who is 101 and will turn 102 this December, was in the hospital earlier this week and they just found another infection that is blocking her intestines. The doc asked if she wanted to go through surgery to clear it. She's 101 for God's sake. Her heart may not survive surgery at this age. She has opted out of surgery, which means we sit and wait, as to live in her condition without surgery means an end sooner than later. So we sit, and we wait, while she is assigned a hospice worker, most likely she'll be fed through a tube, and is given what she needs to be "made comfortable." Family members are coming down this weekend instead, to join us in this wait. It could be a few days, it could be a month, knowing my Lola it could be a few months - who knows.

In many ways, it is harder for me to write about this waiting period than it was to write about my grandfather's death earlier this summer. My Lola, as we call her, helped raise me. She lived with us when my parents moved to the US when I was two years old so I never had to be in daycare. It is no surprise to me that she is still living and cracking jokes and being a wise-ass to family members she doesn't get along with at the ripe age of 101; she's the sassiest lady I've ever met. But for years we've had close calls. For years we've made trips to the hospital with her. For years, we've been with her through complications and illnesses and wondered if she would pull through. She always did, so we'd learn to breathe again and go back to life as normal.

This time is different. This time we've been told. This time we know, and I don't like it one bit.

The picture here is of my Lola with my son a little over a year ago. Before he was born, she had said she was just living so she could meet him in person. They've laughed together and played and smiled at each other and talked, without speaking the same language, for over a year now. I am so happy they have been able to know each other, and I just want more time.

I know she's 101. But that doesn't make it any easier, and that doesn't make it all make sense. So on we wait...


Anonymous said...

Awesome picture of your great grandmother and son.

Just blogging through and had to comment on that. :)

Have a great day!

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