Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Goodbyes

Goodbyes are so very difficult.  I got some pretty hard news this afternoon.  This week will likely be my grandmother's last week here on Earth.  In some ways I'm excited for her to be able to leave this world and this body that had entrapped her.  I know she wants desperately to be with my grandfather- to whom she was happily married for 50+ years.  I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that she will join him in Heaven after she passes on, so that brings me peace..  But it's the selfish side of me that is hanging on to her here.

I LOVED my grandparents.  They set an amazing example of what marriage should look like.  They laughed together, they played together, they encouraged one another and they sought the Lord together..  They took a three mile walk together every morning and really had a good sense of what it meant to be in love and to really be one flesh.  My grandfather snored like a train so they slept in separate bedrooms, but even still, my grandmother served him, honored him, and loved him deeply.  He was an amazing man, and she was the perfect example of the wife I hope to become.

Not only did she know how to love my papa, but she also knew how to love my sister and I.  We were the only two grandchildren, so we may have been a little spoiled.  But I can remember when I would go to stay with her, she would hide a secret box of Oatmeal Cream Pies in her cabinet- just for me.  She would play with us and talk with us.  She encouraged me and taught me so much.  I knew when I was going through something difficult, that she would always (and did always) have a beautiful bit of wisdom to impart.

Sadly, as life often goes, my grandmother has been suffering with Alzheimer's and dementia for the past 5 years.  The past three years have been her rapid decline and she is to the point where she can no longer remember anyone- not even my father who visits her regularly.  I am so blessed as I was able to visit her a couple of weeks ago, on a whim.  She is in a home in Austin, and I stopped in to spend some time with her while I was in town.  While part of me thinks she did not know me, part of me thinks she remembered me- even if just for a brief moment- and I think she heard me when I told her goodbye.

When I walked in to her room, she was laying down in the bed.  She was about 2/3 of the size she had been at my last visit with her.  Her (normally perfect) hair was pulled back in a  pony tail and she was clearly not herself.  She didn't speak to me and gave me only a few blank stares, but I think somewhere in the back of hr mind, she was at peace with me being there.  I talked to her and told her all about our family.  I stroked her hair and held her hands.  Part of me wished I could stay there with her until she "woke up" out of this state, but I knew, deep down, that this visit would likely be the last time I ever got to see her.

As I kissed her forehead and hugged her tight, I prayed that she would hear my heart's cries while I bid her goodbye.  I prayed that she would know how very much she was loved and that she would be at peace to go home.  I see, now, that the Lord is good and has answered my prayers and I can only say thank you to Him for rescuing her from the chains which have bound her so tightly for so long.  I praise Him for bringing her peace and I will praise Him when he brings her home.  In the mean time, I might cry for a little while because deep down inside of me is that little girl who will always love her grandmother.

2 comments:

Amanda said...

I'm very sorry to hear about your grandmother and will be praying for peace and comfort for your family. Your grandparents left a great legacy through you.

Alicia said...

I'm so sorry Christi, we are going through the same thing with both Nathan and my grandparents. It's hard to see the people you love as being so fraile and different but you are glad that their healing will be complete in heaven. I'm just glad God has a progression to preparing us for these situations. Praying for you as I pray for myself.
Alicia