Yesterday was the first time in more than 61 years that her hand didn't reach for his. He tried to fight back tears. Men like him don’t cry much, especially in front of his grandson and granddaughter. He was taught to suppress these types of emotions. But, it eventually became too much.
My grandfather traveled the 45 minutes to the hospital to visit my grandmother. She had been in the hospital for weeks struggling to survive on a ventilator. Her battle with COPD, congestive heart failure, and emphysema was coming to a head. He knew that the odds were stacked against her, they had been stacked against her for almost 20 years. Yet, it didn’t stop him from mail-ordering a present for her for Christmas. It is a little house decorated for Christmas that has lights and music and a scene that is reminiscent of a Thomas Kinkade painting. She really loved Christmas time. Though bits and pieces of her were slowly coming unglued in her caused by the progressing dementia, her love of Christmas never left. During the holidays, it was like she became her again. She loved looking out her big picture window and the neighbor’s light show and blow-up figurines. When she felt well enough, my grandfather would take her for a ride in the car to look at the different decorated houses in the area. My grandfather thought that perhaps she would make it to her favorite day of the year, Christmas Day. Maybe she would surprise everyone and survive this latest health complication. She has proven to be a surviver before when others thought her chances of survival were miniscule. Three years ago we were prepared for her to pass, but she didn’t. She kept fighting, but at great cost to her cognitive state.
Upon arriving at the hospital yesterday, my grandfather sat down by her side and, for the first time, she didn’t squeeze his hand in return. He squeezed her hand and there was nothing. The nurse contacted the doctor and told my grandfather to prepare for the worst. Hours later, my grandmother breathed her last breath. My grandfather is now without a wife, a partner, and a hand to hold.
I ache and mourn for him. I cry for us. Our lives are less without her. I’m really going to miss her. She was a terrific grandmother. The world would be an even better place if everyone had a grandmother like her.
Funeral Home: Haverstock's Funeral Home
Visitation Hours: Thursday from 6-8pm, Friday from noon-1pm
Funeral Service: 1pm