I feel an empty pit has grown over the past few years in my heart.
I visited my Grandma yesterday, if you want to call it a visit. She has the death rattle already. Grandma wasn't there; no fire or spark could be found. She opened her eyes for about 5 seconds to let out a groan and then passed out again. Grandma's not there. Grandma left a long time ago.
I've had these fantastic memories for years now. The summers I was able to stay with my Grandparents were amazing. They spoiled me as I'd never been spoiled before. She bought me a bunch of crap I didn't need every summer. She also bought me the clothes that my Mom couldn't afford to buy me. At the time, I had no idea why I was getting all this attention from my Grandparents.
One summer, they had three female cats and they all had kittens. If there was heaven on earth, I was in it. It was my "chore" to tame the kittens. I tamed them all and cried the day Grandpa got on the radio "swap shop" to advertise free kittens. It hurt to see all the kittens go but my Grandparents did not want 15 cats fighting for the few mice that lived in the barn.
Grandma always had her flowers to tend to and Grandpa always had his garden. I helped both of them with the weeds. They always had a weed problem. Their backyard is Grandpa's garden and then it falls off 30 feet down to the Arkansas River. The gardens were always irrigated with river water.
I later found out that I look very similar to Grandma and so it was easy for me to be their favorite of 19 grandchildren. It sucks now. I know Grandpa looks at me and sometimes sees Grandma. It's a double-edged sword for both of us. Looking at their wedding pictures is eerie. They have one in a hallway that a boyfriend stopped, looked at and asked, "Karen, what are you doing in this picture and who is that guy?"
"It's not me, it's Grandma and that's Grandpa, it's their wedding reception in 1939."
I've been letting go for a few years now. I feel guilty because I'm not as depressed and sad as I think I should be. I'm relieved. I'm relieved that she is finally letting go and I think we are all ready to let her go. Her heart is slowing and she's not getting adequate oxygen to her brain so she just won't wake up again. Congestive heart failure is what they will call it on the official death certificate but it's just old age after a good life if you ask me.
At the extended family Christmas gathering (about 40 of us), she remembered me and called me by my name for the first time in years. She talked to me about the current events in my life that Grandpa had told her about and I couldn't have been happier.
She's 90, had nine children, an 8th grade education, and was the best Grandma I could ever hope for or want. It's time.
I'm on a blogation. I'll still be reading your posts through Google reader or Bloglines every few days so I can keep up with what's happening in your lives/head. As always, you can email me - shmeder at gmail.
I won't be coming back here.
I won't be coming back here.