I am not sure how to even explain what I have been through over the past few days. Everything is really a blur. I want to wake up and none of this have happened. I got a call on August 15th from my Aunt. I knew my grandmother had gone into the hospital for some tests and was not feeling well. However, I did not know that she turned critical until I answered that call. My aunt let me know she was headed down and that my grandmother may not recover. Though my grandmother, “Gaga,” was very sick I knew that she had bounced back before. I could not wrap my mind around her not recovering. She had to recover, as she was the strongest person I knew. My boyfriend and I did both rush home, pack a bag, and jumped in the car. When we got there my grandmother had an oxygen mask on and I could tell was not doing well.
I did everything I could think of to do to make her comfortable. I brushed her hair, held her hands, and talked to her. She started opening her eyes some when my boyfriend and I got there. She would respond to my voice each time I talked to her and though she could not speak back, I knew she could hear me. We were waiting until my Aunt made it to take off the mask. I had this horrific feeling that she was going to feel miserable without the mask and that everything was going to go wrong. However, that is not what happened. When everyone was there and the mask was removed, she seemed to feel a lot better. She actually was able to say “yes” and “no” to questions. When I asked her if she wanted to go to Starbucks she said “yep.” I told her when she got better we would go. Her vitals seemed to stabilize somewhat and after answering us some she fell back asleep.
When she was opening her eyes some what with the mask I did get to show her what a beautiful day it was outside from a picture on my phone. I truly believe heaven was getting ready for her beautiful soul.
My grandmother was later moved to a hospital room on a floor. The nurse mentioned the word “comfort care” which I hated. I felt like she was going to recover and that they should not call it that. Looking back, I am so thankful for the nurses who truly did make sure she stayed comfortable. Julie, my aunt, and I stayed up off and on through the night with Gaga. Other people went home due to exhaustion. Every time I woke up I checked to see if she was breathing. I slept sitting straight up and leaning over her bed. My boyfriend was next to me in the bed. I could have lay down but I chose not too. It seemed too far away. My aunt slept in a chair on the other side of her bed. There was a point in the night when my grandmother did start to struggle and reach out. Immediately, we called for meds which led to more meds. My aunt eventually looked at me with this look that let me know this was not reversing. There is no greater pain than seeing someone you love suffer. My grandmother, Laura Ann, was hands down the best person I have EVER known.
She took me in when I had no where to go, accepted every single path (as crazy as many were) that I went down, and took interest in me in a way no one ever has. She was a mom I never had, a friend I always enjoyed, and someone I confided in. “Gaga” LOVED to shop, go to movies (and eat tons of popcorn), and get coffee with me. I cannot explain the respect and love that I have for her and always will. She was authentic and loved the Lord. I am at peace knowing that when she passed, we were all in the room. We were laughing and talking about memories and she did not struggle. I also know where she is right now and that is with God, watching over us. She had the most beautiful white casket and pink & purple flowers. Even the inside of the casket was pink! It was incredibly fitting for her as she loved roses and those colors. I miss her and always will. We talked (she listened) over those few days at the hospital. I told her that it has been an honor, that I expected her at all of my future events like my wedding/kids/etc, how thankful I was to her for all that she had done for me, how incredible she was, etc. I played “I Will See You Again” by Carrie Underwood for her. My aunt and I hummed “Amazing Grace” on Wednesday night when she started struggling. We kept re positioning her so that she would be comfortable. We also played classical music and hymns, which she would have loved. Everyone got there time to speak with her alone and say goodbye. She hung on until we were all looking away talking to each other in her room to go.
We took breaks in between of taking care of her. My boyfriend held my hand outside of the hospital, brought us coffee, helped my grandfather get home to rest, brought us back McDonalds (and me some healthy snacks), spent the night at the hospital, brought back my grandmother’s false teeth and glasses to the hospital, etc. I am so thankful for him that he went through that with me. People show who they truly are in times like this. I’m very lucky to be with a person like him.
On August 16, my grandmother passed away in the afternoon. I wish I could change it for myself because selfishly I want to keep her in my life forever. But she made me who I am and had such an effect on everyone around her. Many people showed up to her funeral and she is buried in a cemetery that is absolutely beautiful. There are so many oak trees with moss all around. I will enjoy going to talk to her and am at peace knowing that she was laid to rest there. It is never our time someone we love passes but it is theirs. I pray that God takes care of her, makes her lots of coffee, and lets her come back to watch over us. Until I see you again one day Gaga…I like to think of you doing your favorite things up in heaven….
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