Hope is the anthem of my soul
Today is better.
Well, honestly, I was feeling better last night on my way home from Korean class. I spent all day yesterday angry, upset and in shock. Even though we all knew this was coming at some point in time. But I put my music on shuffle and “Hope is the Anthem” by Switchfoot came on. And it helped.
I started thinking about Grams and her situation. And I just remember all our conversations. One thing stuck out because she’s said it a lot since Mom passed. She misses Papa and Mom fiercely. Throughout her past battles with cancer, she said the only reason she fought was because us grandkids needed her. Then, after Trey passed, she started saying it more. And that she hoped it wasn’t too much longer before she could go be with them.
Grams is ready. And I think I’m starting to understand and embrace that.
We still have time. Still no one has really told me what sort of time frame we are working with. It could be a couple months or several months. All we know is that the cancer is not going away this time. Grams was pretty much a miracle patient the first two times. Her doctor said that she shouldn’t have gone into remission those times, but she did. But she had us to fight for. Now… Trey is gone. And Meg and I pretty much have our lives set on a good track. She feels that we’ll be okay without her now.
I talked to her on the phone this morning and she was in good spirits. We both shared a few funny stories about our old house in Parkville, MO. We talked about Papa, Mom and Trey – how they were all always dancing, smiling and enjoying life. She joked about how everyone cries on the phone with her now. A couple of family members had to hang up because they were crying so hard they couldn’t talk. She said she had to tell her brother to stop crying so they could talk.
“There’s no reason to be sad,” she said. “I’m going to a better place and I’m finally going to be with Rex, Shelly and Trey. No one needs to be sad about me.”
I needed to hear that. It was a conclusion I had come to last night, thinking back to all our previous conversations. But hearing her say it again, especially now, helped. It’s still incredibly sad that I’m losing her. And it’s not going to be easy no matter what. But, it makes it a bit easier knowing that she’s not afraid and she’s prepared. And this time around, I have time to really say good-bye and all the things I want to say before she goes. I can call more (I told Grams I’d call every few days – she said once enough a month was enough). I can get back to see her while things are still good.
Even today, we talked about upcoming stuff and I told her about my visa and plans to start my own company – that I now have a friend who created his own start-up a few years back and said he will set me up with everything I need to know to get things rolling. I ended it with, “So, you don’t have to worry about me. I’ve got things under control over here.”
She laughed and sniffled a bit.
“I know. I never needed to worry much about you and Meg. But I still pray for you all the time. It’s what grandmas do,” she said.
It’s not going to be easy. Losing someone you love never is. But I feel like this time is going to be a bit easier than the others. Even though with Mom we knew it was coming, I still felt unprepared. And with Trey, we were still hoping for a miracle and that he’d wake up. With Grams, it feels different. I don’t feel as depressed as I did with the others. Or worried. Probably because I’ve known for a long time that Grams was ready to go home. She’s almost 80 so it was going to happen at some point in the near future. And I know that she doesn’t like people worried or crying about her.
I can’t really do anything about the crying, because I’m a huge crybaby and the tears will come when they want to come (I’m actually failing miserably to keep them in check as I write this). But at least I’m not worried. Whatever the time frame, I’ll deal with it. And I do know that at least she won’t be in pain anymore. And she’ll be with Papa, Mom and Trey. (And I’ll be adding another tattoo…) All that matters is that I squeeze out as much Grams-time as I can. And treat every conversation with her like it could be our last, just so she knows how much I love her and appreciate everything she’s done for me.
She’ll be okay. I’ll be okay.