My Year

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic
This based on a true story, I am new to writing so forgive me for any mistakes etc. I thought I would write about this: This is the year I will never forget, the year my grandma died.

Submitted: August 02, 2017

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Submitted: August 02, 2017

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To begin with, my Grandma would live with my family for a year then with her other daughter for a year. She would always go back and forth, for as long as I can remember. 

After awhile you can tell if was finally getting to her moving back and forth and my family and I were always trying to convince her to live permanently with us. The reason was because at my aunt and uncle, she was left alone for far too long (she had fallen more than once there) they'd leave her to go out without inviting her with them, and my uncle was never nice to her.  With us, someone would always at home, we always invited her  to come along with us, my brothers and I always helped her out when our parents were at work. I was always so close to her and I just really wanted her with us.

In November in 2009 she finally told us she would be living with us permanently, she would come back in the new year. I was thrilled, I love having her here with us, I could talk to her and keep an eye on her (of course without her knowing so) It was the best news to get.

January 2010 came around but no word from grandma as to when she'll be coming out. Mom called her asking so, and she admits that she had gotten sick in December and it turned into pneumonia, so she said that when she gets better she'll come out. So the date has been pushed back  to end of January beginning of February. I was worried, we all were, but didn't want to let on (she always hated when we worried about her)

So around the beginning of February she moves in, mom and I help her unpack and put away her things (my aunt drove her) she seemed better, no sign that she was ever sick! everyone in the house is happy she is here, she's happy she is here, everything was great.

Middle of February is when I started to notice some changes, the first was that she would sleep in later. In all my years my grandmother has never once slept passed 7am. One weekend when mom was home from work, I get up it's around 10am and I don't see her. I ask mom where is grandma and she says she is still sleeping. I was really surprised and asked if she was ok? mom being mom and trying to not worry me smiles and says "oh ya, she's fine!" but I could tell in her eyes she was worried, I did say anything after that, and it wasn't until 10:30am that she got up. I would sneak into her room to check on her and I saw mom do the same at times. This continued off and on.

The next change was she started to have trouble going down the stairs, mom and I told her that when she wanted to go downstairs to call one of us (a lot of times It was myself because mom left early in the morning for work) so it became a routine, she'd call me I would run and help her downstairs. One morning she got up at 6am (that's the time she would always wake up) and called me, but I didn't hear her since I was asleep. One of my brothers heard her, and instead of going to her to help her they decided to wake me up and tell me she is calling me to help her downstairs, I was so mad that they couldn't help her out, and they just went back to bed.

So continuing helping her downstairs, our routine changed again. One morning after getting downstairs she mentions how she felt slightly dizzy, so I told her to sit down at the kitchen table and I would make her breakfast! for her to just tell me what she wants! and with that happening I mentioned it to mom who tried again to not make me worry, but again I could tell how worried she was getting, which of course made me worry even more over this but I didn't let on. On the weekends when she was home from work she would help grandma down the stairs and make breakfast for her, this whole routine went on for awhile.

Then by sometime March another change happened, It started one of the mornings when she woke early, I was walking with grandma to the kitchen and she mentions how she isn't really hungry, so I said no problem we will sit in the living room and when she is hungry to let me know!! It wasn't until late afternoon that she said she would have something to eat, only asked for toast, for this I was beginning to worry again, in all my 15 years (FYI I am 15 years old at this time) she for one NEVER skipped breakfast, and never waited that long to eat something. When mom came home I told what had happened and how I was worried, I remember mom hugging me trying to calm me a bit and telling me it's ok, she's just not hungry, and she'll just eat when she does! ( I love my mom, she tried so hard to not make me worry)

So the new routine had started where she wouldn't eat until way later (of course I still worried the whole time, I knew mom did too, I would see her talking to grandma trying to get her to eat breakfast at times) she would nap a lot during the day, and she would eat a very very little at dinner, but still hardly enough to what she use to eat.

A bit after this went on, grandma said one day to mom how she wasn't really feeling well, and mom said ok we'll make an appointment with your dr. and grandma said to make it with her blood specialist (see grandma had leukemia, and had had it for a long time, so that was why she had the blood specialist dr.) 

So mom makes the appointment and I go with her to help her (at this point grandma has gotten weaker and cannot walk far, she has a wheel chair she uses for whenever she goes out which has not been a lot) her dr. tells her that her blood count is low and she will need blood transfusions to see if that'll help with everything. Mom and I said how this will probably help her regain her strength, and she'll start feeling better! not only did we tell this to grandma but to ourselves, over and over.

Her first transfusion wasn't long after , and went pretty well, she actually perked up a bit, she wasn't sleeping as long, she didn't nap a lot during the day either, though she still didn't eat a lot.

In the beginning of April she still seemed about the same, the blood transfusions are still sorta working (mom and I still held hope they would be what made her better) But by mid April she seemed to have gotten weaker, that we had said how with her feeling so and having dizzy spells here and there that maybe she should sleep downstairs in the living room, since we had the one couch that was a pull out she would be comfortable, She agreed, which surprised me, grandma liked having her privacy so I didn't think she would agree so fast. So we set everything up, mom and or I would pull out the bed for her while the other helped her sit on a different chair (mostly it was the other kept an eye on her to make sure she wouldn't fall over)

At this point as well with her being weaker she needed someone to walk with her to the downstairs bathroom, so of course it was other mom and or I, myself in during the day when mom was at work, and mom in the evening when she was home, and both of us on the weekend. Let it be known there were 3 others in the house, but not once had helped.

Again she had gone for a few more transfusions in May, but now there has been no change. She has gone back to sleeping in even longer now, and now eating even less and even more weaker with more dizzy spells, at this point she can hardly walk to the bathroom (which is on the same level as the living room) so we have it so she gets up from the couch to her wheel chair, push her to the two little steps it takes to get out of the living room, somehow very carefully get to walk up them to sit back to her wheelchair then push her to the bathroom, for this she wants us to just push her in the bathroom and she'll do the rest herself, then lets us know when she is done and back in her wheelchair.

 Mom and I grow even more worried every day with all this going on.

Around end of May maybe beginning of June, mom takes her for another transfusion at the hospital. I decided not to go (I think I just wanted to sleep in, I was 15, and with everything happening I just wanted to sleep that day) But my phone went off, and I was surprised it was mom, and she was calling to tell me she was close to home so she needed help bringing grandma up the front steps. I thought it was odd usually it takes longer for the transfusions, I said ok and asked why they were home so early, mom said to just please be ready and she'll explain afterword's. I just thought ok.

So pulls in and I help her get grandma up the stairs and into the living room on to the couch, then go back to help her bring anything else in the house (pillow grandma was using etc) so while outside with mom I sensed something was wrong and I asked her ”what did the dr. say?" (at this appointment for the transfusions her dr. was going to be there to say how everything was going) and mom didn't say anything at first, so I said again this time a bit angrier "well what did he say?" and mom finally tells me that the dr. said she won't be having anymore transfusions, she is done. I looked at her and asked "so what does that mean? why is she done" and mom says the thing I never wanted to hear "she's dying"

When mom said it, it was in a clipped tone, I know she didn't mean it at the time. She wasn't in her right of mind, who would be? being told that your mother is dying, that is not something anyone wants to be told. I don't and never will hold that against her.

She took whatever she had in her hand in the house and I stood there for a second maybe longer, then when she came back out it was like whatever had happened stopped and I just started crying, I had never cried in public before, but here I was crying in the front yard. In seconds mom was hugging me telling me how sorry she was for how she said for how it was worded for everything. I didn't care about that, I was so devastated to hear that the woman who was always around in my life the one who also helped raised my brothers and I, who I would just sit and talk to with for hours...... was dying. There was nothing we could do to cure this, there was just nothing we could do, and it was heartbreaking.

Mom hugged me while I was bawling my eyes out, for what felt like forever and after I finally stopped, I just said how sorry I was that I did not go with her, that I should not have been so lazy and had gotten up to go with her! I just felt so guilty that she had to have been told that/go through that all by herself.

Mom being mom told me it was alright, I needed the sleep etc. But I still felt bad and still do about it.

After calming down mom told me what happened at the hospital, when she got there the dr. was there and told her he wanted to speak to her in a different room, so a nurse looked after grandma while mom talked to him. She said he told her he was very sorry but the blood transfusions are not working, there is nothing they can do, that she is dying (he might not have worded it that way, I just cannot exactly remember how she said he did) and mom said it took everything in her to not burst out crying right then and there and that the dr. (who has known grandma and us for a very long time) gave her a hug which made it harder to not cry, he even asked her if she was ok. So mom said she explained to grandma that she was done with the transfusions and just said that, that was what the dr. said and really didn't say anymore (how do you tell someone there is nothing left to do? that they are dying. You just can't)

 Mom said as she was wheeling grandma out of the hospital she couldn't hold it in and had tears running down, at hearing this felt even guiltier. She said grandma must have suspected something was up and asked mom if she was ok which mom replied "yep, I'm fine" and came home trying not to cry the whole way home.

She was also told buy the dr. we could get home care for grandma, and we discovered there was a set up for it in Airdrie (which is the closes city to us) and we thought hey this is great! we can get a nurse to come in and help make her comfortable, and after a bit we can move her to a hospice where there is round the clock care, this will help not only grandma but us......we were terrible wrong.

Mom calls them and set everything up, and first thing they said is they'll send someone out to take blood (I do not remember the reason why) the lady who came was very nice (she was from a different clinic not with them) mom had to work that day so it was me and a woman who lives not that far from us, she has known mom and grandma forever, and grandma thought of her like a daughter. So it was the two of us, both brothers were upstairs the whole time she was there (dad was at work) and everything went well with that.

a few days after that a nurse finally came, she did her check up and asked grandma questions. When she was done she came and talked to us, and told us how she was doing etc. then said we should see about moving her to a hospice soon, your daughter is 15 and while you are at work (said to mom and dad) is a large provider of taking care of her grandmother and no 15 year old should be doing that, it is not good for her health.

The "soon" never came.

of course while all of this is happening mom has told her sister and brother everything that is happening (their her children they need to know right) my uncle does not live in the same province and is unwell so he isn't sure if he can come out. My aunt only came out once.

 My aunt told her children and has told everyone at her church (the salvation army) who knows grandma what is happening,  some of the people of the church had decided to come and see grandma (all at different times) all of whom I do not know.

The first people to come and visit were an older couple, the guy use to be the pastor at the church, they were older and very nice. But at the time I did not know who they were or what they were like. They visited on a weekday and mom had to work . So I tried to remember what mom and grandma use to do when people came over (to be honest I was a bit anxious about the visit and not having mom around) and all I knew was to ask if they were thirsty and hungry! (that part will always make me laugh)

When they came they introduced themselves right away (I think they could tell I was nervous) I took them to grandma who was still in the living room and she is lying down but awake (she's too weak and tired to full sit up) they talked to her for a bit and could tell after a little bit she was tired. So as I was taking glasses into the kitchen while they said their goodbyes, when I turned around the pastor was walking into the kitchen, and he told me this "you and your mom have been taking such good care of your grandma, you are very strong mentally and physically for your age and I just  wanted to let tell you what a wonderful job you are doing and if you and or your mom needs anything please do not be afraid to call me" his wife after was standing behind him and nodded at this. At this I honestly wanted to cry, I didn't know these people but yet they said this, it was a shock. Then after that they thanked me for the drinks and left. The whole time they were here both brothers were upstairs hiding and not once came down.

bit after that we (mom and I) had decided to set up what was our unused dining room (which was technically a sitting room) to be grandmas new bedroom. It was perfect! there was lots of space, it was close to the bathroom, and it had been used as a room before and grandma would have her privacy. When we told her the idea she loved it. So we got dad to move the couch that had the hideaway bed into it, we moved her dresser in there etc. We also got a monitor so we could hear if she needed us at all.

 The next couple that came, the guy was the new pastor of the church. That visit was awkward, they sat and talked with grandma who was now in the other room that has been set up, and after she grew tired, they sat and talked with us in the living room, and by us it was dad, my younger brother and I (though the whole time my younger brother was down he was on the computer)  The pastor and his wife were nice but a bit quiet, dad was being nice and tried to get the conversation going but they were making it a bit difficult, thankfully they did not stay long.

June comes along, and now grandma cannot get up from her wheelchair by herself, so when I help her to the bathroom I must help her off the chair and onto the toilet. I will admit this new development had gotten to me and more than once I complained to mom, I feel so guilty and bad for this, she tried her best, she was talking to homecare asking when we can get her into a hospice, she has mostly stopped eating now.

All she is doing is drinking with help and taking her heart medication, which mom and I tried to keep up with, funny story about that, one day mom and I was giving her, her heart pill and mom randomly looks at the bottle and on it says "take twice a day" grandma had told us it was once a day!! we tried to see if maybe we could trick her into taking the second one, and failed. That seemed to be the one thing she remembered taking.

One day something new had happened, I was sitting with grandma and she says to me "go fix the blanket that's on the end of the bed" I look at it and it is folded, I ask her how does she was me to fix it? she says to me "do not argue with me and go fix it!" I was shocked and just moved the blanket and asked if that was ok (which apparently it was) I told mom that night what had happened and she hugged me and said it's ok.

The next visitor was my uncle he flew out and came to see her (his daughter also came out and brought her new born baby) they stayed for awhile but grandma was so tired and weak, I don't think she really knew what was going on.

 

 

It's close to the end of June and I was a bit upset, it was my 16th birthday and instead of enjoying that day like most teens here I was helping grandma on the toilet. When I thought this I got upset with myself how could I think this way?! My grandma is dying and here I am thinking how this is unfair that I can't go party or something, I felt awful. What made it worse was when I helped grandma back to her bed she hugged me with what strength she had and said happy birthday, here is my grandma who can't remember what she did yesterday anymore, but she remembered by birthday. I hugged her said thank you and that I loved her, I told her I would be right back. I went to my room and cried and felt terrible and  I had what was my first ever panic attack.

I didn't tell mom any of this, I just couldn't, what I had thought was awful and I couldn't put even more stress on her.

That weekend mom had made plans for I could go to the mall with my closes friends as a birthday thing. Since I didn't drive she took us and brought Louanne (the woman who lived close by and helped out more than anyone else with grandma when she did not have to) it was a fun time. Mom got dad to watch over grandma that day, it was the one and only time he ever did.

July things got worse,  grandma no longer has the strength to get up to get to the wheelchair to be wheeled into the bathroom, the homecare let us use a portable toilet that has handles around it and so it's in the room, she has also stopped completely taking her heart medication and this has mom and I worried, we called and they told us nothing we could do (I'm serious)  and still she is no longer eating and getting her to drink has become harder, homecare has been made aware of everything.

Tension in the house grew higher, mom and I became more and more stress, mom was getting upset with homecare who had not been helping at all getting grandma into a hospice to get the proper care she needs (we had one for her, it was a salvation army one, since grandma had been with the salvation army for years she would get in no problem)

One time I remember they sent a nurse to come and talk to grandma about a hospice (we had been trying to explain to her it was not a nursing home) and it was just me this day, mom was at work (at this time she was applying for a leave to be a home to take care of grandma) the nurse does her usual check up then instead of explaining about the hospice she says to grandma "you like it here right? Hayley and Carol are taking really good care of you and you love being around them yes?" grandma said yes. I was upset with this woman and when I told mom she was livid. Mom has been trying so hard to get grandma into the hospice, so she can get better care, and truthfully be less stressful on us, but this nurse has done this and is no help at all! We are at our wits end.

 With everything I go on to having more panic attacks but still do not tell mom so not to worry her, only person I have told is my best friend about everything going on, if it wasn't for her and mom to talk to I don't know how worse it could have been.

One night mom and I were in the kitchen, just talking while she was doing the dishes, and we heard grandma calling for mom, so I go with her. Grandma asks mom if she could get tea for the pastor and my uncle, and mom looks at me and I didn't know what to say, so mom says "mom they are not here, they left awhile ago" (it was easier to just say that then to explain days etc. grandma really couldn't remember much) and I remember grandma saying "DO NOT MAKE THAT TONE WITH ME AND MAKE TEA" honestly it was the funniest thing I had ever heard, my grandma telling my mom not to have that "tone" with her, I had to walk away because I was going to laugh. Then after mom says ok I'll make tea then grandma says "oh will you make a cup of tea for the two women" mom asks what women and she says "the ones standing behind you" mom told me she was honestly afraid to look, but when she did she saw no one. She told grandma ok I'll make them tea. Mom makes tea and sets a cup down by the stand by grandmas bed, a few minutes after that (mom was sitting on the bed with grandma who was laying down) I hear grandma say in the most heartbreaking tone "what's happening to me?" I don't remember what mom said to her, I had to leave because I was going to cry.

I do remember one other time grandma wasn't lucid, I was asked to babysit and at first was going to say no because mom still having to go to work and no one else would look after grandma, but Louanne said she would do it, it was only for a few hours. She did and mom and I thanked her so much for that, so when I came back Louanne said everything went fine, but at one point grandma had told her a story of how she was very disappointed in mom, because she let me a 16 year old have a party and drink alcohol! Louanne knowing full well that never happened, said she told her that she would talk to mom for her about that. It was pretty funny.

But then the most terrifying thing had happened a few days later, grandma one day had called for me and needed to go to the bathroom, since to portable one was close to the bed it was easy to get her to it and on and off it. So like usual I slowly help her up (I have noticed it has gotten easier to help her up, she has lost a lot of weight) I get her on to the toilet with no issue and am standing in front of her (I'm scared she's going to fall forwards) and just talking to her like always, everything was going fine until next thing I know her eyes roll to the back of her head and she starts jerking almost like having a seizer, this had never happened before, I slightly start to panic. I keep saying "grandma! grandma what's wrong"  (It didn't dawn on me she wouldn't answer, how could she when this is happening) I am holding her so she doesn't fall down, I then call for my younger brother who was the only other one home. He comes running and I didn't know what to do at first, I try very hard not to full on panic but to stay focus to help grandma and to not scare my brother. I then remember that the older guy next door had said he use to work with seniors, I get my brother to run next door. While he was doing so I am still holding onto her, she has stopped moving around but I could see she was breathing, I didn't know what to do but wait for my brother to grab the guy next door. So I continued to talk to her, to tell her I was there and everything is going to be ok. She then says in a voice that sounded ready to cry "I want to go home"  I said "you are home grandma" at the time I didn't realise what she meant. My brother and next door neighbour arrive what felt like forever after but it was only minutes, I told him what happened (my brother tried to explain when he went to grab him) and he was so helpful, he helped lift grandma up and put her back to bed, he was hesitant to leave at first, but I just smiled told him it's ok and thanked him so so much for his help, he left saying if I needed anything to come and grab him again. Grandma once put back to the bed seemed fine after words, I helped her get some water and she fell asleep. I sat with her holding her hand for a couple minutes, then after when everything was quiet I had to leave, and after I did I cried, I cried so hard I was shaking I had a hard time breathing I couldn't stand, I didn't even make it to the living room couch I just sat on the floor crying, my brother hugged me and after while called mom to tell her what happened, when he handed me the phone so I could explain I just started crying, I told her I was so scared when it happened, I didn't know what to do, and explained about getting help from next door, and she told me I did everything right and what I could etc. I told her while trying not to cry how she had said she wanted to go home, I know mom tried so hard not to cry while I was telling her everything. She came home straight away and hugged me tight and apologized over and over again that, that happened, that I had to deal with any of this. I told her I did not blame her that this is no one's fault (to this day I still do not blame her)

After that mom said this is enough, got on the phone with homecare, told them what had happened and how she really needs to go to a hospice. Their response was and that, that happened because her blood pressure must have dropped, their solution for time being was that we can rent a hospital bed for $200-$300 (it was $400) since she can no longer sit up for long, but they will get on it for sending her to a hospice. Mom also called her sister to say what had happened and her only response was "oh"

So we gone the money and got her one. The day it was delivered, mom had to go to work (she was still trying to take that leave and her work was messing around) so it was me and Louanne came over to help me. The two guys were super nice and showed us how to use it. The bed did help, we could sit her up for her to drink water, but that was getting even harder to do again homecare knew this.

Because of grandma not being able to sit up any longer she now had to wear depends, for someone so weak and not very right of mind, that she did put up a fight with. We explained it'll just be easier on her, after a bit she gave in. One day I had to change her (mom had told me do not do that, that she would when she get home) but I just couldn't do that to grandma and her, so I did it, it was awful, here I was having to change my grandma, who I remember being this strong woman, who never wanted help with anything from us, is now laying in a bed, literally has gone down to nothing from all the weight she lost where I could see her ribs and hip bones and now needs someone to change her, It was the hardest thing to ever have to do.

That night while in my room laying in my bed thinking about everything happening, I thought the worst thought anyone could think of, I thought "why couldn't she just die already" as soon as that thought popped into my head I regretted it. How could I think something so awful? how could I be such a terrible granddaughter and think such things! I truly am an awful person...I never told anyone what I thought that night (how could I? it was terrible way to think, and I still regret it) the next morning I went straight down to grandma held her hand and told her how much I loved her, and that I hope she knew how much I loved her, she nodded and mouthed I love you too, I felt even worse.

I made sure to be with her even more after that.

 

A week or so after that I remember on a Friday there's a knock at the door, I was the only one home mom and dad at work, and both brothers were out somewhere. So I answer the door and some lady is standing there and says she's the nurse that has been sent out for the weekend to help, I was not told of this so I thought ok maybe it slipped mom's mind to tell me no big deal, I show her where grandma is and where everything is, then after I excuse myself and called mom. I told mom the nurse is here, and she said what nurse, I told her she told me she was sent out here for the weekend, mom tells me to hang on and calls the homecare people. They told her this "Oh yeah, we are sending you a nurse but you only get for the weekend no more than that" mom calls me back and tells me this and I say oh ok. The nurse we had Veronica was the nicest person ever. At noon where I live they use to have a siren go off for whatever reason and it scared a lot of people who were new to town, so at noon like usual it went off and Veronica came running into the kitchen where I was at the time and asks frantically what it was, I explained it to her and she told me she thought it was other going off because of a tornado or that everyone in town had to meet in the middle of the town (that one made me laugh!)

After a bit she told me I didn't have to stay that I could go out if I wanted to (which I wasn't sure about doing really) but then ended up calling a friend who happened to be Louanne's daughter, so she came over, then after Louanne took us out to the mall, before we left we asked her if there was anything we could get her, she said no she's fine, she'll just go to Tim Horton's and we had to explain to her there was no Tim Horton's in town that the closes was 30 minutes away, she didn't believe us at first, she thought we were playing around! It was funny.

She would leave at night to go home (she lived almost an hour away) and would come back in the morning.

Even though we had her for only the weekend we all became pretty close to her and her to us, when grandma was sleeping we told her she could sit with us in the living room if she wanted, and she did. She would tell us stories of her growing up on a Caribbean island, like how one time her younger brother was teasing a giant cockroach and the thing got mad and attacked him and his family just laughed instead of helping him saying that's what he got for teasing it. She would tease and say how she "hated" dad cause he got her to eat some potato chips and bacon and she explained that she was on a diet because she was training for the ironman marathon.

On that Sunday mom and I went grocery shopping and while shopping mom got a call from her, I was honestly scared at that moment that she was going to tell us something bad had happened, but it was her letting us know that my one cousin and his wife had come to visit (I do not know how long they stayed, by the time we got back they were gone) My grandma had 5 other grandchildren (8 all together when you count my brothers and myself) and only 2 of them came for a short visit, one was from a different province the other did not live far away, none of the others visited nor did any of them offered any help (all of those grandchildren were in their 30's)

So after the weekend Veronica had left and hugged us all goodbye and said to call her anytime to keep in touch. Mom and I missed her, she did show us some things that would make some parts of looking after grandma easier on her and us.

All during July my mom and my aunt had started setting everything up for when the time comes, they picked out a coffin (mom told me it was the hardest thing to do) they had everything else that needed to be done, done. Mom always hated those outings and I understood why.

Another older couple from the church had come by to visit grandma, they sat with her the whole time, they talked to her and prayed with her. I remember in some of the conversation grandma weakly told them she had been having dreams of grandpa visiting her, telling her it was close to her time, and at this she started to cry, I had never once seen my grandmother cry and it scared me. It also was heart breaking to hear what she had said, she never told mom and I about these dreams. My mom was also trying not to cry at hearing this and seeing her cry. Before they left the lady held my hand and told me I was going a great job and was strong for my age and gave me a hug, she also held mom's hand told her she was so strong to have to see her mother like this and that she is doing a wonderful job, and hugged her. After words I think mom went upstairs to cry, I didn't know where she went at first but after awhile I saw her and her eyes were red and I hugged her. That night I had a bad panic attack, but this one mom saw and helped me, I couldn't tell her about the others or she'd get worried and she didn't need that.

It's August now, everything continued as normal but the difference was mom's work finally let her have her leave.

On August 5th, mom had made my aunt come down to the house, she had just returned from a cruise that was a week, she did at first say she wouldn't go but mom told her to just go (not like she came out and helped anyways) and her husband came as well, Louanne was there and my dad and myself, we were all there because a homecare nurse was coming down and we were all going to gang up and tell them enough is enough she needs a hospice, she can now no longer get any water in her, she can't even open her eyes (she was still partly responsive I would talk and she would nod)

The head nurse came and did what we thought was a examination and other care (like cut her finger nails) but she did not, she even told us grandma was move her hand away, not allowing to do so, but on her sheet she mark down that she did trim them and that she did other stuff too for care (she did not)

So we were all sitting at the table, and made her sit down and told her she needs to go to a hospice now, she is not getting the proper care. That nurse said grandma was still sound mind and still did not want to go so we can't make her, but she'll try to do something....yes that was actually said.

 

She left and mom and I were upset because we were told this so many times, we just didn't know what to do. After a bit my aunt and uncle left, Louanne did too but said she'll be back later to help mom change the sheets on grandma's bed (Louanne was stronger than me so she could lift grandma when needed, she also volunteered to help with that) So the rest of the day went by the same.

That evening before Louanne came, mom and I were with grandma and I don't know what it was but I really wanted to hold grandma's hand, and when I did I could see tears, this broke my heart, I never once had seen my grandma cry. As I held her hand I told her I loved her and that I was with her it's ok. When Louanne arrived I went to answer it.  So she went to where mom and grandma were and I decided to stay in the living room, after 15 minutes maybe less I decided to go see how it was going. When I arrived at the room they were just finishing up putting on the new sheet, grandma was still on the bed but she was on her side for when they were tucking the sheet in (I think) and she was laying there doing what I thought for a second the oddest thing, then it hit me, she was gasping for air, she was literally moving her mouth like a fish out of water, there is no other way to explain it. I pointed at her, I was shocked and scared at first that I couldn't say anything and mom say me and asked "what is it?" I finally said "Mom she is gasping like a fish!!!" Mom and Louanne go around to the side she is facing to see and mom said "She is! That's it I am calling 911! please go find your dad and tell him!"

I remember looking for him and telling him what was happening, Louanne stayed with mom while she called.

I also tell my brothers what is going on.

The first responders arrive and they get oxygen on her and try to get her set up for when the ambulance arrives. They do not shortly after. Two different ones actually arrived one was close and the other one was sorta close, they said they were bored so thought they'd check it out (yep actually said that to us)

After a bit I sat outside, there were too many people in the house, it was just too much I had to get away, one of the first responders took mom outside for air as well and we sat on the front steps. Louanne's husband came by to bring her, her purse because she told mom she was going with her to the hospital. He is also a pastor at a Baptist church and he didn't really know what to say to mom, so he asked if he could pray with her, she said yes. So mom, Louanne, her husband, and myself prayed outside, all while the trainees of the first responders were standing outside by the truck watching (the guy in charge wanted the experienced ones in helping) 

So the EMT's got her loaded in the Ambulance, and the one guy asked mom who said she'll follow them in her car, that if anything happens would she want them to pull over so she could say her goodbye, t mom said she just said no. I did but didn't want to go, I was scared and mom told me to stay home that it's ok (I felt bad for not going)

I sat in the living room, my brothers and dad did too. After a bit dad stood up and tried thinking of how to tell us something, he finally said "I'm sorry to have to say this, but I wanted to let you guys know that grandma would not be coming back" He really did try saying it kindly and all, I give him credit for that. I already knew this though, but hearing it out loud is what did me in, I cried and he hugged me. My brothers cried too. That night the house was very quiet, and we all decided to camp downstairs, had the tv going and at some point we all fell asleep.

At some point in the middle of the night I woke up, I could hear mom was back and talking to dad in the kitchen in hushed tones, but I knew, I knew what had happened, I knew that grandma had passed. I cried silently so no one heard me, I didn't know if my brothers were awake or not.

I don't remember when or how but at some point I fell back to sleep and woke again around 9am. Mom sees I am awake and sits on the couch and tells me that grandma had passed. I didn't tell her I knew, I don't know why but I didn't, I hugged her and again cried. After a bit she tells my brothers and they cried too.

That day mom and I go to the funeral home, we thought going out and doing stuff would be better than just sitting at home, so we go there to drop off clothing for her and so mom and pick a date (since everything was already done) as we are driving there my phone rings and it's my younger brother. He called to tell us that Veronica had come over, we asked why we were not expecting her and mom had called homecare before we left letting them know. Turns out they did not tell her that grandma has passed and they had called her a bit after we called them, and they still had not said anything! She was upset with them and so were we (well even more so) my younger brother told me that she had tears in her eyes when they told her and that she hugged them before leaving.

 

 

 

 

 

The funeral.

It was a nice one, a lot of people came out for it, my best friend, close friends of moms etc. The two pastors actually argued who would do the sermon (that was kinda funny) so my mom had told them they could both do it, and they did! Louanne played the piano (grandma always loved that) my aunt did the eulogy, my mom read the little one my uncle sent out. My uncle couldn't make it out he was very badly sick himself, mom told him not to feel bad about not coming out. Everything for the sermon went nicely. But one of my cousins (who was in his 30's) came dressed terribly (he wasn't even at work first or anything!) he was dressed in ripped jeans and an old plain t-shirt, then my other cousin did not bring his kid who he kept saying was so close to grandma (the story with him and his wife was that they used grandma for free babysitting and when she told them she could no longer do so they stopped coming around to see her).....needless to say mom was not impressed with either of them.

 My aunt had demanded that the after part be held in the church part, so mom agreed. My mom was very upset with my aunt about the after part and I do not blame her, there was hardly any food or drinks just a few sandwiches and if it wasn't for mom and dad stopping to pick up a deli platter there wouldn't have been enough for anyone (it was still cutting it close)  It was terribly set up. Mom was just so upset about that, and I know that if my grandma had been around to see any of that she would have flipped.

 

After the funeral we all went home, I do not remember what we did after we got home really.

 

For weeks after grandmas passing I kept waking up in the middle of the night thinking that she was calling me, mom said she did the same thing.

And for a whole year, I kept having the same dream almost every night, the dream would be that everyone was wrong that grandma was actually alive and well. I never told anyone till years later and mom said I should have told her. I now know I should have.

 

It has been 7 years now and I honestly cannot forgive my cousins for never coming out and helping, they would always go on and say how much they loved grandma, but if they really did why did they never visit her while she was well? Why did they not help us when she was dying? One tried saying he was busy with his life.....I was 15/16 I had one too, but I helped my grandma, while my 30 something year old cousins couldn't be bothered, and at that age to watch all of that happen it was horrifying, and yes I am also upset with my brothers and dad for never helping, someone tried to tell me it was because they were scare....I was scared too but I still did it!!

People have also said to mom and I "it must have been nice to have her home at her final time" and I will always tell them no, no it was not, seeing her become so week and get no proper help was terrible. When you tell them that they get all quiet, but people who have never seen or been through any of that, they don't know what it is actually like.

I will tell people it was one of the worst years I had ever had.

 

 

I would love to say that the year after got better, but it did not. In the next year, I fell and broke my ankle in two places and had to wait three days in the hospital just for the surgery and was in a cast for months and could no longer skate, then in that same year I broke my ankle my cat that I had had since I was little died three days before Christmas...

The year after did slightly get better (thank god!)  I graduated high school and started University.

 

But that was my story of my terrible year....

 

 

 

 

R.I.P Grandma 1929-2010


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