Friday, June 20, 2008

About Grandma

Grandma and Me (Eric) 1983
So, my Grandma passed away this morning. Besides my Grandma passing, the only other family that I have lost is a dog that I wasn't really attached to anyway. I cried a little when I was putting Jackson to sleep this evening. I think it was because I was just sitting there and had time to think about Grandma. I don't usually cry about anything. Ever. I think what saddens me the most is how she died, where she died, and who was with her. Don't get me wrong, I love and miss Grandma, but I grew up in Idaho and she lived in California. It is hard to build a strong relationship with someone you only see every other year. Anyway, she died in the car, on the way to the hospital with my Grandpa driving, of a possible heart attack. Grandpa is all but deaf, blind in one eye, and has trouble communicating because of his hearing. We estimate that she passed between 2:30 and 3 a.m. My dad didn't get a call until about 7:30 a.m. What was Grandpa doing in between? Did he know what was going on? Did he contact anyone else to be with him? Were the doctors able to communicate with him? Was he crying? Did he and Grandma get to say goodbye? She was alive when they left for the hospital, and slumped over in the seat on the way. He thought she was reaching for something in the back. I don't know what I would do. I just feel really sad about the situation. Kind of a "coulda, shoulda, woulda" feeling. Maybe I could have written more letters or e-mails. Maybe I could have called. Maybe I could have visited more often. A piece of the family, of my genetic makeup, doesn't exist in physical form anymore, yet life is still supposed to go on.
As I was putting Jackson to bed I thought about Grandma and cried out to God (Jesus) to bring comfort to Grandpa and Dad and Uncle Mike. I cried out for comfort for myself. I don't know when I last had enough tears that they fell off my face. I then remembered the good times we had, like when the whole family flew to Oceanside, CA to visit them a few years ago for their fiftieth wedding anniversary. They didn't know we were coming and I don't think that I have ever seen anyone so happy. I remembered our family trip last spring, when we all went to CA again, this time with two great-grandkids. I remembered when I went by myself during college and they drug me all over Southern California. I remembered the sleeping bag that they gave me when I was five or so. I still have it and my son will be able to use it in a year or two. More recently, I remembered my son's dedication at church. Grandma and Grandpa flew up to be there with us for the occasion. I remember how I mistakenly called Grandma two weeks ago, (we have never spoken for more than five minutes on the phone) and talked with her for half-an-hour. I learned some things about her past, she asked how Jackson was doing and about how cute the pictures we sent her were. I remembered that the last thing I said to her was "I love you". Those are important words. As I think about all the pictures I have of Grandma and all the things we have done together, I feel Grandma saying," I love you". Even though Grandma is gone, I know that she understood that Jesus loved her, and she loved Him back. I understand that Jesus loves me and I love Him back. I know that when she made it home Jesus greeted her with a loud, "HOTDOG!", and a big hug. Grandma's life is just beginning. She is up in heaven at the right hand of God, watching and waiting. I am confident that I will be able to hug my Grandma again one day.

By Eric

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