If you have been following me for a year or more, you may remember this post, where I wrote about the loss of the patriarch of my dad's side of the family. Well, almost a year later, the matriarch is making her way to be reunited with Grandpa, and to finally be where she has been working her whole life to get to...Heaven.
My older sister and my niece met up at my house yesterday so that we could make the 2 hour trip north to join family at my Grandmother's hospital bed side. I was completely emotionally prepared to say good bye, and thought there was NO way I would cry that bad. We all knew this would happen eventually, we all thought it would have happened closer to when Grandpa passed, so there was no way I would break down....or so I thought.
We were actually surprised, and elated that she had made it the 2 hours it took us to get to the hospital. They had made the decision to take her off the BIPAP and figured it would only be about 30 mins for her oxygen levels to drop and for her to pass. I was thrilled that she had hung on, because I wanted Ava to meet her. I brought her youngest great-grand child up to her bed and placed Ava's hand on Grandma's hand. She had been pretty unresponsive, and semi-comatosed for the past few hours. At that moment, she reached for Ava's hand. I gasped, looked up at my aunt who was sitting across from me, and we both smiled. I started to cry. My grandmother had ALWAYS loved babies...probably why she had 13 of them!! HAHA. She was heartbroken when we lost Rosie, and this was the first time she got to meet Ava.
My Dad joined us, and it was as if he was filled with pride that my niece (the FIRST and oldest great grand child, and my daughter, the NEWEST and youngest (as of now) were there at the same time). He stood next to Grandma holding Ava with pride while telling Grandma all about her.
The next 5 hours were filled with prayer, singing, and memories. Grandma made some signs of responsiveness, and her oxygen levels never really dropped below 90%. It was pretty amazing. IN the Catholic faith, at least the older generations, were taught and believe that you pray souls into heaven. That those in purgatory make it to heaven through the prayers of the saints and through our prayers. One of my aunts was joking that Grandma wasn't taking any chances, that she was making sure we prayed enough for her to bi pass purgatory and pray her directly into heaven. (Note: this is not taught as much in the church now, and I am not even sure I believe it myself...but I will continue to pray "just in case" it is true...best to be right and do it, then not do it and be wrong;-)
Two of my cousins knew a version of the Divine Mercy Chaplet that is sung. As we were singing it, the tears started pouring, and would not stop. It was as if someone turned on a faucet. Prior to all of this, I figured I wouldn't cry because she had lived an amazing LONG life, and we had all been expecting her to go, but as I listened all of the voices raising to heaven, all of the wonderful memories I had of living with my grandparents for 4 months, and the quality time I was able to spend with them started flooding back.
Through tear blurred eyes, I glanced up to look at my father. He was holding Ava tight as the tears poured from his eyes as well. This got to me even more. I think I have seen my father cry 3 times in my life prior to this. I just wanted to hug him and make all the pain go away. However, I noticed that through out the day, each time he would get upset, he would take Ava out of the arms of whoever may be holding her at that moment. It was so sweet...as if holding her brought peace to him.
Just before I left, I leaned over and whispered into her ear, "I love you Grandma. When you get to heaven please give Rosie and all the other grand babies and great grand babies you never got to meet kisses and hugs for us." After losing Rosalynn I learned that a few of my aunts had multiple miscarriages....one had 8, and another had a full term loss like mine, and a few of my cousins have had losses as well. I know that when Grandma gets up there, she is going to LOVE meeting those grandchildren and great grandchildren that she never got to meet!!!
She has made it through the night, and I know there are a few cousins making their way up today, and I pray they all get the chance to have the same experience as I had yesterday. Being able to say goodbye is something that is so comforting. Too many people never get to officially say goodbye to their loved ones, and I am soooo glad so many in my family have this opportunity.
Please pray that she goes peacefully. God Bless!
Well Here's a Huge Update
2 months ago