Sunday, July 18, 2010

One Thing I Know

One thing I know is the night light plugged in by the ceiling turns on at 7:15 p.m in room D146 at the Golden Living nursing home.

I know that sweetie Anna, Gram's roommate, is concerned I will see her 'tut tut' whilst she shuffles from bathroom to bed.

I know that every 10-15 minutes a staff person walks by, peeks in or comes in to pat, check and or gauge patients.

I know the physical therapist doesn't mind when he is confused with an Iranian when he looks marginally Italian. 

One thing I know is that I will never go to Golden Living again.  I have no reason to-Gram isn't there anymore.  She isn't anywhere anymore.

I saw her Thursday night.  She was, as she had been for weeks, in and out of lucidity and awareness.  That night, however, was the first I saw her be startled or afraid.  She would fall asleep and then wake up, eyes wide, as if something or someone had dropped something near her.  I was the only thing near her.  The only thing in the natural.

Friday I stayed home.  I was concerned as the nurses informed me Gram had a highly contagious infection.  One of which I could expose my family to if I didn't sanitize it away from my hands, my clothes and my shoes.  I struggled with the desire to be with her as much as possible and protecting my children.  I stayed home, battling depression, the only antidote being playing Star Wars games with my sweet boys and crying myself to sleep.

Early Saturday morning my Uncle called with the news which was still surprising in spite of it's certainty.  I was thankful I had so many hours with her at the end.  I was thankful she was no longer alone, afraid and suffering. 

As I left the previous Thursday, Anna asked me why I didn't stay longer.  I shouted, as Anna is quite hearing impaired, "She's sleeping now.  I also have to get home to my little guys."  Anna snuggled in, her tut tut now fully encased in her green flannel blanket, said this,"That's right, they are more important."

More important than my dying Grandmother? My mind reeled.  More important than making up for years of lost time and bitterness and hurt?  More important than...

One thing I know, after the past 6 months of endings, is my boys are more important.  For they are the new beginning.  In them, in my mothering, in our family, with God's help, we can fully eradicate the generational dysfunction between Mothers and children. 

One other thing I know?  I will miss Grandma Ruth's soft hands, her cranky comments (all too often accurate), her homemade bread, her wiry hair and personality.   I will miss the idea of her and of my mother.

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