its an ironic thing, the way that life and death work, after all there is nothing more natural than either of them. people come, people go, the cycle of life continues every day. late last night my grandmother escaped this world and went on to the next. she has been rotting in a nursing home the last five years, spending at least the last three in a some what vegetated state. she hadn't spoken in ages, was unable to feed or take care of herself. most days we wondered what kept her hanging on and prayed for the day that she would gently fall asleep and not wake up. they say you exit this life, similarly to the way you lived it, and i can't say that my grandmother did this any differently. she liked to have family around and was tilted a bit to the dramatic side. (maybe that is where i get it?) i was all set and scheduled to give birth on monday morning and now i will spend that day burying my grandma nancy.
of all the crummy timing, this was the worst. in the last two weeks we have gotten negative lab results back from my brother's kidney doctor, my dad resigned from his job last monday which means in addition to my dad soon being unemployed, my parents will be moving to a new location AND i got inconclusive results back from my painful amnio yesterday. did i mention its hotter than seven kinds of hell right now too and i have a heat rash on my very pregnant belly? i made my peace with grandma years ago and in my mind she has been gone for a while, but i wasn't prepared for the flood of emotion i have been experiencing today. indeed, God gives you only as much as you can handle but i am calling "PLATE FULL!" right now. i've been trying to maintain some level of composure and keep my stress level down to avoid pre-term labor, the worst thing that could happen is for me to start having contractions. i'm hoping nancy is keeping a watchful eye on baby and me in between doing the waltz with my grandpa.
i have spent the last two days recounting my moments with her, she was very special to me growing up and especially in to adulthood. she was the more nurturing of my two grandmother's, more the story book type. she cooked special meals for me, doted after me and smothered me with kisses. i spent countless hours in college laying on her couch lamenting over boys and my parents. she was the best listener and my biggest cheerleader. it breaks my heart that she never got to meet my children, she would have really gotten a kick out of them. every morning she got up, put her make up on, her bedazzled track suit and always looked like a lady. her hair was done every friday, her nails every two weeks. she liked yogurt for breakfast and made a mean over easy egg. she read the paper every morning, was an early riser and always had a pot of coffee. to this day i haven't had roast beef and noodles that compared to hers and i kick myself that i didn't spend more time in the kitchen with her. she loved hawaii, sweet adalines, singing, dancing and christmas. she liked to talk a lot, never met a stranger and i think most of her income went to at&t. she had seven children and coincidentally had them boy-girl-boy-girl all the way to the very last one. i am not sure what inspired her to do so, but all the boys names start with the letter "D" and all the girls, the letter "C." it was laughable to hear her call for one, screw up the name, and make it damn near through the whole list before she got the correct name. (insert my name starting with the letter "C" as well and sometimes i got thrown into the mix) until the very end, she prided herself on never having a traffic ticket and she loved to go get a diet coke and go for a drive. i loved that about her. sometimes we would just get in the car, grab ice cream and drive all over town. she had a magical way of making me feel like i was the most special, wonderful person in the world! like i was the lucky one to be the favorite grandchild, even though i know she loved us all the same. she was very proud of my father, bragged about him all of the time. i, personally, think he is the best thing she ever did! :)
no matter how old you get, grandparents are very special people. i miss the sparkle and joy she brought to my life. there is a place in my life that will never be that bright again without her there. but i can still hear her voice, her laughter and remember exactly where her arms hit me around the waist when she hugged me. i know that she would want me to focus my energy and thoughts on this baby right now but its hard to do knowing that this part of my life is really officially over. so i am going to give myself the rest of today and tomorrow to just feel bad and miss her; but on sunday i am going to be glad. i am going to be glad that she is no longer suffering. no longer alone in that nursing home. no longer unable to enjoy all of the things she loved. she has moved on to a better place, leaving this world a little dimmer, the next a little brighter. i am going to think about her in the delivery room, knowing that my baby, my lucky baby, is going to have its own personal, newly appointed angel to help usher it into my arms.
i love you and will always miss you, nanetta maxine.