Day 6: The Hardest Thing I've Ever Experienced

March 11, 2012

My Grandma Jane's (Mimi) Passing 

I've included a couple of photos from our wedding. I'm not near my external hard drive right now- where I hoard pictures of us.

Ever since I was adopted, at 2 months old, my grandma was with me every step of the way. She lived on the other side of Goguac Lake from us and was only a 5 minute drive away. She had a key to our house and was often there before I got home from school or shortly after. She didn't have to be, but she always wanted to spend time with me, even if it was just taking me to dance class. 

She would do anything and everything for me. 

In 2008 or early 2009 she was diagnosed with pneumonia and chronic heart failure. We found out she had been having TIAs (small strokes). She went back and forth from assisted living to having in home nurses. I don't want to tell the whole back and forth story of her long, painful journey, I want to remember and celebrate the good. 

Travis and I had a trip to England planned so we could travel for two weeks, relax and he could meet my dad's entire side of the family. A couple of weeks before we were going to head off to England, my grandma took a turn for the worse and was now living at Hospice. We honestly didn't know if she would be around for 2 more weeks or 6 months. We cancelled our trip to England and flew to Michigan to spend time with her. I wanted to be able to spend time with her while she was still "all there." I would fly back later if she got a lot worse, but I wanted to spend some quality time with her. What if I went to England and she got really sick or worst case, she passed? I couldn't imagine being stuck in England, I don't think I would have enjoyed the trip. 

So, we spent about a week in Michigan and most of our time was spent at Hospice with my grandma, my parents and my aunts and uncles. Mimi told the funniest stories of her childhood, my childhood and some other crazy things that she had never talked about. It was a lot of fun, but really painful at the same time. 

We always  she would even outlive me. She was always on the go, partying, playing bridge and traveling.

I keep getting images and memories in my mind of spending time at hospice, i can't bring myself to write about them and I don't think you want to read about them. It would make you understand why this was so hard, but we all know losing someone is hard, so let's leave it at that. 

I lost both of my grandpas in prior years and have lost friends along the way. Nothing compares to losing my grandma. She's the next closest person to me after my parents. 

The hardest part was watching my mom lose her mom- that's what made it really tough. I can't elaborate, I can barely see through my tears right now. 

Our last day in Michigan came too soon, it was mid-September.  We had to say goodbye. I knew, in the back of my mind, that was the last time I would see her. I held it together when saying bye to her, we both acted as if it was "see you again." I'm not sure what she was thinking at that point, but we hugged, talked and as soon as I left her room, I lost it. I was numb. I couldn't move. I hid in Travis' chest, I didn't want my mom to see me even though she obviously knew what I was doing. 

Every time my mom called me after that day, I was afraid to answer my phone. 

On Friday, December 4, my mom called me and told me I needed to say goodbye. My grandma was too weak to talk. My mom put the phone up to Mimi's ear and I talked to her, while trying my damnedest to keep it together. She made some noises in acknowledgement when I said some things and then we hung up. 

Norma Jane Prevost passed on Tuesday, December 8, 2009 on Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day and 1 year and 1 day after my Grandpa Frank (Dad's Dad) passed. 

She lived an amazing life, one I can only hope to even partially live up to. No one in the world is more kind than her. She always said (in perfect health) "I won't make it to your high school graduation" "I won't make it to your college graduation" "I won't make it to your wedding" She never said she wouldn't make it to see my child.  I'm glad she never said it, but I'm heartbroken that she never got to meet Brady. He'll always know about her and hear stories, he'll know his Great Grandma. 

Not a day goes by that I don't think about her. A lot of people say that and I don't believe them. I honestly think about her all of the time, sometimes I smile, sometimes I tear up. I love finding old birthday cards and just saying hi cards in my office. She always said the cutest things. THIS is why I hoard old greeting cards. 

She left behind a book of poems which I frequently read and sometimes post. I loved them. There is still a book, that no one can find, that she kept all about me. Funny things I said and did. She would never tell anyone where it was. WHERE IS IT? :) I'll find it someday. 

I can't imagine losing my parents or a best friend. It's been hard enough losing close friends along the way. 

I love you all. 

The 2nd hardest thing I've ever experienced? C-Section. Not before, not after (they both sucked) DURING. Read about it here

1 comment:

  1. This made me bawl! I can relate - as my story with my Grandmother is almost identical. Not a day goes by that I don't think about her, and I even have a tattoo in honor of her. Thanks for writing this, even though I know how hard it was!