She was a vivacious, beautiful, passionate woman who lived life to the fullest. She hated that her skin had wrinkled, that her skin began to sag, that her vision faded and her hearing was almost gone.
She lived in a box, hearing only muffled voices, thinking people were not even interested in her opinion anymore. She said "Why don't you talk to me anymore?" even though we wanted to- we were tired of yelling*.
She was stubborn. She did not want to wear a hearing aid- that's for OLD people- and besides, what she heard was overwhelmed by the ringing in her ears.
She has survived two amazing men in her life, and her closest friend is her daughter. She holds her great-grandaughter close, who bears a matching scar to her own, down her chest, reminding her that even her own scar is a thing of beauty.
She earned her scar when she was 75*. Far too old for a major heart surgery. Many doctors told her there was no hope. She should just enjoy her final times with her family.
One doctor saw hope. He said it could be done, and it was. She earned 13* more years with her bravery. Then, in the year before she left, she held her great-granddaughter with a matching scar. A scar that not long ago would have been forfeit, as nothing could be done.
As her time drew near, emphysema and a broken heart finally catching up to her- her kidneys shutting down and her liver losing function, the doctors- including the one who had given her her extra years- said that all that could be done had been done.
Her daughter could not believe it. Her daughter needed her mommy there- her mommy who had been her companion in dark hours and joy. As her daughter leaves the room she turns to her son: "Please let me go." Her elder living son is strong enough. He's seen so much, his heart is tender, but more logical than her youngest child. She knew her daughter's heart would simply break to hear she wanted to go home, to see her eldest child who had passed on so many years before, and the men in her life that she had so adored.
She had been given the richness of hearing all of her children's voices in those days. Her daughter had done the hardest possible thing to do- calling her brothers to say that they should travel to see their mother, one last time. Even so, her heart refused to admit that this was really the end of her mother- how can someone who lived SO FULLY be going? What will I do without her?
Her son cried. The doctors had heard her say the words as well, and they knew that this was the time. Her daughter wept when she was told her mother's words.
A short while later, the room grows quiet. Her daughter has gone to eat, her son in law and her granddaughter's family all gone away to have a sandwich. Her eldest living son sits by her side.
She feels it is finally time to let go. She did not want to let go while her daughter was there- ever showing her intense love for her only girl, and there is no better hand to hold her than one of her precious boys.
Her breathing changes. She begins to leave. Her eldest living son calls her daughter and everyone else back. Everyone surrounds her and cries their farewells. Her great-granddaughter does not understand, she lets out a baby girl whimper.
Someday it will be explained better, but for now her Granny sleeps. Her mommy cries, her Nana howls in pain, her great-uncle weeps, her Pop-Pop holds Nana and tears run down his cheeks...
I wrote this, a sort of memory of my grandmother's death. I know it may not all be true, and facts which I'm unsure of have asterisks. All others are subjective, memories of my own, and my memory is not always the best. I have been known to remember things that did not happen, and things that happened as being different than they actually were- so please take it with a grain of salt. This is purely a reflection of my emotional understanding of my beloved grandma's last day- and by far doesn't encapsulate the whole of that amazing woman. She was ... so amazing! She was strong, willful and vibrant.
She loved Christmas. She loved Vegas and the Beach. She was a California Girl. She was supremely generous (that was why she loved Christmas- she LOVED giving gifts!). I miss her so much....
Juliet had her sedated echo on Wednesday. We traveled to Salt Lake City and stayed at a hotel overnight, then headed to Primary's in the morning. I sat with Jules while she was sedated and her daddy took Joey on a tour of that awesome hospital. As usual, she was taken care of so well!
The results: *drumroll*
NO sedated echo for TWO years! The doc forsees no issues with her surgical sites, and said that the only thing he sees is what is normal for the TGA repair (One of the vessels is a tich wider than it should be) but that is not a big deal. He said that if it were to turn out to be an issue, it wouldn't be one for quite some time, and that the chances of that are very very slim based upon what he saw. He said that the problems that could arise (narrowing around scar tissue etc) are not present and that she's doing GREAT! Praise God! I am thankful every day for the whole team that treated her. They are artists! *jumps for joy*
In a year she'll have her normal checkup down in Poky, and then when she's almost 4 we'll go down again for the next echo.
The only forseeable reason to go to salt lake before then is if it's decided that she needs surgery on her urinary tract (the urinary reflux) and it's better for kids who have had heart surgery to be sedated by those familiar with their needs. She's not had a UTI in a very long time, so I'm betting she won't need to have that done.