I can’t believe it has been three years since you passed. When you left this earth, you left a giant hole in my heart. I know you won’t ever physically read this post– maybe you hear my thoughts through the years so you will know in spirit what I am sharing with you.
I wonder if you know the regret that I feel. I was trying to respect your wishes but I struggle with the fact that I didn’t get to say good-bye. This still puts a knot in my stomach. I was working so much as you were in the hospital. I was hoping that you would make it one more day– I was going to make the trip the very next day. It was the hardest day at work– knowing I was caring for other’s loved ones while my own was fighting so hard. Grandma, do you know the down side of being around dying people for a living… it is that you know how things often go. I was so hopeful when I got a report at work from mom that it would be okay… but I also knew that I was pushing it because I knew what else she was telling me. But I couldn’t get off work early that day because there wasn’t anyone to cover my shift. By the time I got home from work and got the next report from my mom… I knew there wasn’t any way I was going to make it in time. It was almost a 2-2.5 hour trip. The vitals were to low… I knew it would be soon. I knew that by the time I got there– it would be to late (and probably to late to even get to pay my respects and make peace with it all). So, I was left with nothing else to do besides sit at my house and send out positive energy for an easy passing. Grandma, I know it was your wish that we didn’t see you like that. I know that wasn’t the memory you wanted us to have of you. But I needed to be able to see you again– I needed to be able to tell you I love you again– I needed to be able to hold your hand and offer a little bit it comfort. It hurts that people who haven’t seen you in years– haven’t spoken a word to you in MANY years… made it to see you but I didn’t. But what hurts me the most– what changed my course of career in the end, was that I was caring for others. I was caring for other people during their time of need… and lost my chance to care for you in your time of need.
I wonder if you watched as we moved into a house together– blending our family. Although I’m sure you wouldn’t necessarily approve of the “premarital” thing… I wonder if you were proud of the family we had made together. I wonder if you watched as our family has changed over the last 3 years– as we were parenting full-time from 4 kids to 5… then back to 4. I wonder if you are still watching over us as we prepare for another move that will hopefully soon be happening!
I wonder if you have watched as Laura struggled with what we thought was mental illness. I wonder if you watched over us as we faced our first large hardship. When Laura had her attempted suicide. As we were waiting in the hospital ER for her to stabilize and for her transfer into another hospital. Her heart broken by missing you and really struggling with her issues with her father. I never realized how much she felt comforted by you until I realized how deeply she was hurting. But you know… she’s as stubborn as the rest of us in accepting help.
I wonder if you sat with me in the ER at both my local hospital and the children’s hospital. While I fought with myself a transfer from our local ER to the children’s hospital ER. While everything in me said we should go but then a part of me was saying maybe it’s over. Until the decision was made for me. I wonder if you somehow had a hand on her during the drive from our local ER to the children’s ER in that ambulance so she didn’t start bleeding again until she arrived at the other hospital. If you somehow had a hand on me– to help me remain calm in the face of watching my child bleed to death right in front of me. It was nothing short of a miracle that she didn’t start bleeding again until she was registered with the children’s hospital… because that time it never ever stopped. Again, being medical– I knew more than I let onto Laura at any point. But I was able to remain strong as we ran down the hallway to the surgical suites. While Laura remained strong enough to continue to talk– when her blood counts were so low she should have already have passed out. I wish I could have called you while I was in the surgical waiting room… waiting to hear if they controlled her bleeding. Waiting to hear if she was okay. In the end she was– and she bounced right back! (By the way– this was the end of her mental illness… it was sleep apnea all along!)
I wonder if you have watched as Morgan grew up to like her boyfriends more than anything… to the point she would give up so much for them. I wonder if you ever thought I was crazy or being to demanding for the requirements we placed on all the kids. I wonder what you would have told me to do– how would you have told me to handle these situations that came up. I beleive we did everything we could– we were making the best choices for our family. But I still wish I could have talked to you about some of these challenges. Are you aware that she has turned into an adult now? That she grew so fast– right before my eyes.
I wonder if you are proud of everything Hailee has accomplished and all her various activities in her life. She always strives to make everyone happy (well, most of the time). I wonder if she would ever have wanted your advice on how to handle some of the struggles in her life if you had gotten to meet her. You passed before we were able to introduce her to you guys. But she is an amazing young woman. She has to many goals and so much she wants to accomplish.
I wish I could share with you how much of an artist that Caleb is. He is amazing! But he’s to shy to share it… and to shy to even practice sometimes. Always afraid that he will mess up. I wish hat he could have the encouragement that you always brought. You never let me think that I wasn’t able to do anything– even when I struggled or when I was afraid to try. You would love his artwork. Have you seen it from your window to the world? He’s passionate about it… I just struggle to bring it out of him being his mother.
Matthew could use stories from the days you worked. Have you seen the struggles we face with the baby of the family? I can’t share them here, not openly anyways. He does always try to make people happy– but struggles with other aspects. I wish I could talk to you and get more ideas how to curb that… or hear stories of what really does happen. Anything to make him realize that it isn’t the fun he thinks it is. Matthew would LOVE your snuggles though… he’s such a cuddle bug. He would have just loved the squeezes all the time!! More so than any of the children.
Did you watch as we officially blended our family? Were you there in spirit at our tiny wedding? I wish you could have got to know Shawn and his girls more. I think you really only got to meet him once for a few minutes at Christmas. But I finally got it right… I wish you could have been there with grandpa. I thought about you often that day– you would have been so proud to see how everything went. You might have even appreciated the small aspect of our wedding, where the most important people were present!
Grandma, you left this earth to early for me. I still needed you. I’m so lucky that you were my grandma. I wish you were still here though. I wish I could still call you and hear your voice. No one has ever said it but a part of me believes you knew that this Christmas was going to be the last one. I think you wanted this happy day to be our memories of you. I’m thankful that my kids’ last memories with you are of one of the happiest days. One of the days that was always your favorite. I’m glad that you met Shawn, even if it was just for a moment. I hope you see how happy he makes me– I hope that you are proud of the family we have created.
Love you Grandma!