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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Grandmother


On July 12th, 2013,  I lost the most influential and special person in my life, my Grandmother.  

Up until January of this year, my Grandmother was in excellent health.  The last time she had been in the hospital was when she had my aunt in 1956.  She was 85 years old and still living on her own and driving.  Around the first of the year, she developed a compression fracture in her back and was in a lot of pain.  The doctors told her that it would heal on its own, but the pain just kept getting worse and she was having a hard time getting around.  In March, she finally decided that she needed to go to the hospital to try and manage the pain.  Before the EMT's arrived she made sure to fix her hair and put on some lipstick.  She always wanted to look nice wherever she went.  She was in the hospital for awhile and started to do better so they transferred her to a rehab hospital to help her be able to transition back home.  


During this time, she was determined to attend my wedding.  She worked so hard in therapy every day so that she would be able to get in a wheelchair and come to the wedding.  None of us thought that she would be able to make it, but she was not going to give up.  On my wedding day, May 5th, 2013, Grandmother was there.  She wasn't going to let anything stop her from coming and she didn't.  



That day was so special to me and even more special because she was there.  I was able to see her before the wedding and she prayed with me before the ceremony.  It was such a sweet time with her.




After the wedding, it seemed like Grandmother lost her motivation to get better.  She stopped working hard in her therapy and on July 2nd, she told my mom and my aunt that she was ready to go home and be with the Lord.  

On July 4th, the rehab facility called my mom and said that her blood pressure and heart rate were really low and they were concerned about her. Later that evening, they decided to call an ambulance and take her to the hospital.  My mom and I met her in the ER and they ran a bunch of tests.  They determined that she had pneumonia and that she needed to be admitted to the hospital to treat it.  Over that next week she just started to get worse and had a hard time breathing.  I think we all had an idea that she wasn't going to live much longer, mostly because of the way she was talking.  She kept telling us things that she wanted us to know before she died or advice that she wanted to give us.  I spent as much time as I could with her that week and even spent a few nights at the hospital with her.  

On July 12th, they moved her to a hospice unit around noon and she passed away that evening.  It was such a loving and peaceful time for her to be surrounded by all of her family. When she took her last breath, I was able to hold her hand just like she did for me on my wedding day.  
Grandmother holding me when I was first born
I can't even begin to describe how important my Grandmother was (and is) to me.  Not only was she my Grandmother, she was one of my best friends.  We would call and text all the time and I would always tell her what was going on in my life or ask her to pray for me about things.  She wanted to know and be involved in every detail of my life.  

Growing up, I always loved getting to spend time with my grandmother and especially loved spending the night at her house.  She has 9 grandchildren and she loved each one of us so much.  Every year for our birthdays, she would take us out to eat for our birthday treat and spend time with just her.  We always loved our time with her.  Still to this day we always argue over which one of us is her favorite grandchild because she made each one of us feel like we were.  Although, I'm pretty sure it was me since I was her first grandchild.  :)  After college, I lived with my grandmother for awhile and I will always cherish that time with her.  Last year she sent me a list of 19 different ways that her and I are alike.  If I can just be a fraction of the person that she was, I will be happy.  

Grandmother with all her grandkids 

My grandmother loved and made everyone she came in contact with feel important.  She has more Facebook friends than anyone in my family.  For 10 years she was the Dean of Women at a Bible college and ended up retiring from there.  She lived on campus with the girls and made each one of them feel like they were her adopted daughters.  She started a ministry for women and traveled all over the world to 20 countries and went to every continent except Antarctica   She never complained or had a bad thing to say about anyone.  Even when she was in the hospital she didn't complain and always asked about how everyone else was doing.  

My heart hurts so much and I miss her every single day.  I want to pick up the phone and call her or text her about things that are going on in my life.  I miss her encouragement and her prayers and just knowing she was there and how much she loved me.  I know that I will see her again one day and I always have her words of encouragement to hang onto.  

I love you, Grandmother!




The following video is a slide show I put together for Grandmother's memorial service.