The nurses from hospice started coming more and more often. I knew that wasn't a good sign. I tried to prepare for the inevitable. How do you prepare for something like that? How do you prepare to let someone you love so dearly go? The answer is you cant! You cant ever truly prepare to let go of them.
Philippians 4:7 says "And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." I hold on to that. I do have peace because of Him. Things will not always be easy, but He is with me.
I sat at my grandmothers bed holding her hand as she tried to speak. The words were not coming out clearly, so I tried to make out what she was saying. After a few minutes I said "home" and she shook her head yes. Then something else, so I asked "heaven" and she shook her head yes again. I looked at her and said "I know Gran. I know you want to go home to heaven. I know you are ready to see Jesus and Granddaddy. I'm gonna miss you so much when you go, but I know they are up there waiting for you. Gran, will you be there waiting on me when I get there?" Without hesitation and clear as day she opened her eyes, smiled, and said "I promise".
I cannot begin to tell you the feeling that washed over me after she said those words. I cannot begin to explain the tears that fell down my cheeks, but I can tell you that I know she will be there waiting when that day comes for me. That gives me peace and knowing that she will be there gives me hope. She knows where she is going and so do I. That lets me know that when its time for goodbye its only temporary.
The nurse came for yet another visit and had more concern. Things were definitely worse. She walked over to us and placed a little blue book in our hands. It was simply titled "Gone from our Sight" I felt like someone punched me in the chest. The book was to let us know the signs of death. I opened the book and flipped through the pages. When I looked at all the signs under "Days or Hours" I ached. She had every sign. Every single sign. I didn't want to believe it, but I knew.
I cried. I can't remember much else that I did that night. I sat by her bed, read to her, and cried. Mom and I never left her side. I was so grateful when we made it to the next morning and she was still with us. My aunt arrived and the three of us sat with her. We talked, cried, and held her. My other cousin came by briefly and saw her, though she never responded I believe she knew he was here.
By six o'clock that evening her breathing was horrible. It scared me. I wanted to help her, but I knew there was nothing to do. I paced the floor, I prayed, and I held her. I cried, I paced, and then I grabbed that stupid book again. Under "Hours or Minutes" was the statement "fish out of water breathing". I threw the book. All I could think was NOT YET! I'm not ready!
Her breaths got further apart and then further and then they stopped. Time seemed to stand still. My mom, my aunt, and I stood there holding her sobbing. She was gone. She left us. I ached.
Part Nine will be next.
Love and Hugs,