Thursday, March 12, 2015

Time for Goodbyes

Mom called today. My Nana is finally on her way out. The Alzheimer's Groundhog Day mourning will finally be coming to a close after too many years.

I am flooded with emotions knowing that this is finally it. Hospice is now coming daily. She has stopped eating. Her organs are shutting down. They are giving her morphine so she won't be in too much pain.

I just revisited what I wrote in October of 2013 when she started really going downhill and was in the hospital. It was the last time she had any sense of recognition and I was one of the only people who could evoke it with her. The tears are flowing steadily and I know how deeply this does, and will, hurt. Even though she's already been gone for many years... I am simply letting myself feel. There is no other way to cope.

In this picture, I'm about 4 years old. I had for whatever reason, decided to put my hand on the wood burning stove and that's my Nana taking care of me. She always took care of me. She is the last person on this earth who has known me since birth and truly loved me unconditionally. She was the kindest and most nurturing person I've ever known in my life. She helped shape who I am in ways no one else could. I will be forever grateful for her love.

I'm happy that she'll be able to pass on in the house my Bapa built for her so many years ago. On land homesteaded by his family in the 1800's. He died at home too. I'm happy that she will no longer be simply living with no real quality of life. I can still picture her sitting in her rocking chair, with a cat on her lap and doing a crossword puzzle. I can still hear her voice. I can still hear her laugh. I can feel her touch and remember her smell. She was and will always be my amazing Nana. I want her death to be as painless and quick as possible after all of these years of limbo. Awful, wretched, heart-breaking disease...

 Her spirit will live on in me and my children. In their children one day. In these fields surrounding the property and in the leaves of the 100 year old oak trees. Her empathy, her secret desire to be a fashion designer, her stories of adventures with her friends, our own travel adventures. My Nana's life was simple and she lived for her grandchildren, my Z's, her gardens and pets. She loved people. One of my only regrets to this day, was not spending more time with her while I was in my 20's before her mind started to slowly drift away. Time that can never be recaptured and a forever lesson to love fiercely and make each moment count. I know she knew how much I love her.

I will go out soon to help plan her memorial, choose the songs I know she'd want to hear, write her obituary, and choke back my tears as I read a eulogy for the woman I love as deeply as I love my own children. She will finally be at peace, and this gives me comfort in my time of sadness. She wants to be cremated, just like my Bapa. I will keep some of her ashes to take on adventures with me as I do with his which was his wish. "I want to be everywhere." he told me. His only bride, who he married on Christmas Eve at the age of eighteen can be with him too.

I'm ready to say goodbye now... I will love you forever, Nana.

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