"Sometimes I feel my heart is breaking. But I stay strong and I hold on 'cause I know, I'll see you again."
Walter Reed was where Grandma needed to be though. Fort Belvoir was so good to her and us. They made sure she was always comfortable, and all the staff and even the people there were so friendly. I remember one particular time my sister Shelby & I were walking down a hallway going exploring in the hospital while grandma took a nap... We decided to sit down and we lost it. Shelby held her cool more than I did, but I couldn't help it. My grandma was in so much pain and I couldn't do anything about it... A nurse walking by us stopped by and talked to us, telling us to stay strong, that she was in good hands, and that God had a plan for her. It was hard for me to believe that this could possibly be part of his plan... But, the nurse was so calming and sweet, I decided to take her advice and I calmed down a little bit. She didn't need to stop and see if Shelby and I were okay, but she did... I don't remember her name or anything about her... But I will always remember that gesture for the rest of my life.
Anyways, like I was saying, I woke up last year on this day, a normal Thursday. School, work, worrying.... I actually remember everything from 5 o'clock on. I remember telling everybody that today was a good day because we were finally going to get answers. Today they were going to give grandma a dye test to see if/where her cancer was... I kept my phone on me the entire night (my boss was so amazing through this all. I will never be able to thank him for everything that he did for my family and I) and I checked it almost every 10 minutes.
Finally I got off work and headed home. My dad was the only one home. Shelby had to be back in Norfolk, and my mom was staying the night with her sister at the hospital with grandma. I remember when I got home my dad told me that I should probably take off work tomorrow and come to the hospital. I didn't want to hear him say it, but at the same time I did... He wouldn't come out and say that her time was limited. Could you blame him? I was very anxious and he could see it. My dad is my best friend. When something is wrong, he can always tell. He didn't have the heart to tell me that she wasn't going to make it... and I thank him for that because I would have broken down right then and there.
I went to see grandma almost every single day in the hospital. I was supposed to work 11-5 on Friday, then I was going to head up to Walter Reed after I got off work. Well, in between my dad & I talking about me taking off work and me trying to push him for answers, my mom called. She was going to call to hopefully tell us the results of the dye test, so we were awaiting a call to make sure all was well... But instead all I heard my dad say hysterically was "NO, TAMMY, NO. OH MY GOD"
Right then and there I lost it. I knew.
I'm tearing up writing this because I can feel it like it was yesterday. I felt a stabbing in my chest that I have never felt before. I just lost one of my best friends... My beautiful 73 year old Grandma... I started pacing around sobbing... I didn't know what to do. I wanted to call my sister so badly, but that was something my dad had to do... I went downstairs, still sobbing hysterically, and I called my boss. I had to tell someone and I knew he cared a lot about me and my family, so he was the first person who came to mind. He didn't really have any words but i'm sorry for me.. but can you blame him? What do you say to someone in that position?
I finally crawled upstairs, my dad had just gotten off the phone with my sister & I laid there on the floor, he sat down next to me and we hugged and sobbed together. I cannot remember the last time I had seen my father cry. That was a moment I will cherish forever. The comfort that we give each other cannot be replaced.
He then asked if I wanted to head over to grandpa's house to see him and I said yeah. So, we went to the car... weird it was raining.. It is like God was crying too.
We get to grandpas & both of us run inside. I walk straight inside not looking at a soul and run up and hug my grandpa. I lay there on his chest and we cry together for about 5 minutes. Another moment I will always cherish.
The last thing that stood out to me about this day was when my aunt and my mom got to the house. They walked inside and when they walked over to grandpa... My dad and uncle were standing in the corner, they couldn't even watch their wives hug their dad. They both warmed my heart. I cannot imagine how hard that was to see the love of their lives hug their father, after watching their mother pass.
It is a beautiful thing though... grandma got to spend her last few hours with her daughters. That is something they will cherish the rest of their lives.
Well. Today.. I miss you grandma. There is still a hole in my heart that no one can fill, no one but you. You meant the absolute world to all of us. You were the glue to this family. I will cherish you forever. I cannot wait until we meet again, and I hope that I am making you proud up there grandma. Say hi to great grandpa for me, and tell great grandma that I can't wait to meet her. I love you and I miss you dearly.
Until next time Grandma <3