Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I See the Moon and the Moon Sees Me

There's a gorgeous full moon out tonight and since Grama has died I feel close to her when I look up in that big sky and see that bright moon.  About a week after I got home from Montana and her funeral I was putting Casey out and saw that moon shining down and I knew, just knew, she was in a better place.

Although my three weeks with her were labored with questions and wondering why God had brought me to Montana and it appeared she wasn't going to die, the time together was precious.  Sacred.

One day, one that I spoke of in her eulogy, was particularly sweet.  I was sitting there holding her hand and offered to paint her nails.  They were brittle and peeling; she wasn't getting nearly the nutrition she needed to sustain them and I thought a little polish would be cheerful.

She agreed and I ran to the drugstore down the street and picked out a few colors.  When I returned I laid them out in front of her.  Without hesitation she quickly chose the brightest and perkiest pink of the bunch.  I polished her nails and toes and when she fell asleep and scuffed her thumbs I polished them again.

After she had fallen asleep I went into her bathroom to put the polish, remover and q-tips away.  Before putting it in the cabinet I looked at the name on the polish and it was "Rosy Future."  I just loved that.  Her future was indeed "rosy" as she prepared to meet her Savior face to face.

For the first week and half our days were filled of drinking milk shakes together and having candid talks about death and Heaven.  She wasn't afraid.  She didn't want to die but she certainly wasn't afraid.  We told each other a thousand "I love you's" and kisses.  As the days went on it got to the point where I couldn't bring my kids anymore but in the first week she had some special time with those great grandbabies who had come up with the name, "Gigi."

This picture just busts me up; here are my two Emily's sleeping in a little twin hospital bed.  It just cracks me up that Gigi's teeth have fallen out and are under Emily's arm.

Late in to the second week Grama's rally began to decline.  She stopped eating the few bites of 3 square meals and was sleeping almost all the time.  She was still able to swallow water and so we didn't have to give her her medicine through a syringe yet and that was a blessing.

At times she would seem to be hallucinating; she would look at me and her eyes were bright and voice clear but she would call me "Mama."  Towards the last week she called me Mama more than she did Jenny.  It didn't hurt me, in fact, I thought it was tender and precious.  I felt honored.  I also thought it was precious that in the end, no matter how old we are, we all want our mothers.

After we stopped going home at night and started staying with her around the clock I was on the night shift, sleeping in the recliner adjacent from her bed.  I heard her cry out, "Mama, Mama."  I sat up and saw her sitting up, wide awake.  "Grama, what do you need?  I'm here.  What do you need?"  "Whose cat is that?" she asked.  She was looking at the foot of her bed where there was no cat.  I got up and walked over to her bed.  "I don't know whose cat that is.  Is it yours?"  She nodded yes and smiled.  "What's your kitty's name?" I asked.  She looked at me like I was crazy and said in a know it all voice, "Kitty Cat."  Duh.

I asked her if she was thirsty and she said yes so I gave her a sip of water and she made a spitting sound over and over and then said, "Don't give that to Kitty Cat."  With that she laid down and went to sleep.

Thanks for letting me process through this bag of sorrow I'm dragging around.  It isn't much fun but as I cried and smiled while I wrote this I know its necessary.

One last picture.  I love this one; I loved her hands.  Even as a little girl I just loved how soft they always were.  This picture is special because we're holding hands and you can clearly see her two rings: her mother's ring and the ring my Mom bought herself, Grama and me.  We buried her with her mother's ring and the other one rests in a box waiting for little Emily to be old enough to wear and cherish.


chris said...

I love that first picture. It brought tears to my eyes before I even read the post. It instantly reminded me of my grandma and all the wonderful memories of her hands peeling apples for pies and caressing my hands and holding my own babies years later.

I wish I had a pictures of her hands. I think most of the elder don't like their hands but there's only good memories for me.
thank for sharing.

Jennifer said...

Chris, I couldn't agree more. I love the picture you paint of your own Grandma's hands.

Heather said...

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