Saturday, January 10, 2015

Like it was yesterday

My phone rang and it was my mother.

"Are you coming?"

I don't think I'll ever forget that.  It's burned in my brain forever.  There was so much confusion, nobody remembered to call me and tell me to come.  My mom thought I was lagging, when in fact I had no idea what was going on.

The kept gram on life support for me.

I remember when I realized this, it was the most profound, life altering realization I'd ever made.  One of my favorite people in the universe was dying, and her body was kept alive for one reason and one reason only: so I could say goodbye.  Everyone else was already there.

I will forever remember.

Telling Rob we had to go now.  Did I want him to come?  We'd have to find a babysitter.  Call the Relief Society president.  She'd watch the kids.  Pack a bag.  Drive the kids to her house.

Drive to the hospital.

Park.  Walk through the slush.

It all goes in slow motion.  I was hugely pregnant with L2.  I remember the clothes I was wearing.  I still have the outfit.  I remember walking into the hall.  Slowly walking down the hall, still in shock.  Turn right.  Call the nurse's station.  Enter.

Slowly walk around the nurse's station.  Everyone was standing there.  Everyone was in a daze.  Red, puffy eyes.  I didn't want to walk in.

The force that hits you when you see someone you love about to die.  I can't even put into words the weight of that force that hit me as soon as I saw her laying there.  My heart stopped.  Time stopped.  My mind went blank.  I didn't know what to say.  I was speechless.  My cousin told me to tell her how much I loved her.  My mom told gram I was there.  My mom took her hand and put it on my belly to feel baby L2.  She told gram to feel the baby, and gram smiled.  She smiled.  I could see her light blue eyes, tears dripping down the sides of her face.  She was there, and she smiled.

I got to say goodbye.

Then it was time.

We all moved to the next room while they took her off of all the machines.

Then we went back in and waited.  And waited.  Gram was weakly gasping like a fish out of water.  It was incredibly painful to watch. I couldn't wait anymore.  I excused myself to the bathroom and everyone tried to stop me, saying she could go at any moment.  As I walked out, I stopped and looked at the monitor at the nurse's station.  Her heartbeat was 56 bpm.  But I went anyways.

And when I came back, everyone was hugging.

"She's gone."

"I know."

My mom closed gram's eyes.  Or someone did.  I remember someone doing it.  It was all a blur.  It was just after 7pm.

I don't remember much after that.  I remember thinking of my kids, that I had to go pick them up so they wouldn't worry.  I remember explaining to them that gram was in heaven.  After that, not much.

Exactly 2 weeks later I had a baby.  At the same hospital.  It didn't go well.  I had emergency surgery.

4 months later I was back in the hospital.

2 weeks later I was back in the hospital.

2 weeks later I was told I had cancer.

4 weeks later I was back in the hospital.

I don't think anyone could ever explain how mortal I felt during every moment of 2014.  How fragile I realized life is.  You cannot even BEGIN to fathom what it feels like to watch a loved one die, or to be told your babies might have to live every second of the rest of their lives being loved, hugged, punished, hurt, taught, and raised by someone else.  It is so impossibly painful to comprehend.

NOTHING in this world matters more than those you love.  And I will never stop trying to give my babies every last bit of my love.  It is what gram did for her babies, and grandbabies, and it is her legacy that will live on through me.  Life is so short and so fragile.

I miss you, gram.  Thanks, again.

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