My Grandmother had a stroke last night. Apparently she had two of them. The right side of her body is essentially dead. By the end of today she was trying to smile at us and squeezing our hands when we held hers. Still we are told she will not recover much more than that, and since her cancer is coming back my aunt wants to abide by her wishes (which she made clear before this happened) and not tube feed her. The outcome of which is that she starves to death within two weeks. How can you sit and watch someone starve to death? She says that once the original hunger pangs go away she will not be in any pain at all. I find that hard to believe.
My Grandma and I have had a rocky relationship the last several years, but I love her and don't think I could watch that happen to her.
We were very close when I was younger and she taught me how to draw and I spent weeks on end as her companion when my Grandfather was in the hospital before he died. Weeks in the hospital just me her and Grandpa. Just being there. Watching Grandpa deteriorate when I was just eleven years old. I remember knowing that hospital inside and out by the end of Summer. I didn't feel the need to think about what was happening then. I was old enough to know but not ready to understand. He was such a great man in my eyes. A big burly bear of a man who dropped hints now and then about how much he loved you. And he never ran out of love, even after 13 children and dozens of grandchildren. In the end I think he knew he wasn't going to go home and be the man he was and he just gave up. He resigned. On my birthday no less. I will always remember him on that day. Though it took years to become something that made me happy instead of sad. It comes easier with time.
Grandma and I fell out a couple years back when she basically believed ill of me when a cousin and I were fighting and the cousin said I did some ludicrous thing that I didn't do. Grandma believed the cousin and never bothered to ask me my end of it. What made it so significant to me was that I thought that she and I were really close and that she knew me better. That and the fact that the cousin was known for being a manipulative liar. That killed me. I don't think we spoke for a year. Eventually I softened up again and became friendly with her, but I don't think I ever fully forgave. I had been stung in a way that I didn't know how to get over. It sounds superficial and minor but it wasn't and it still bothers me a lot. I never was able to talk to her the way I had before, I didn't trust that it wouldn't happen again. I couldn't take a disappointment like that a second time.
Now I am forced to face it. I don't know how. I can set aside the past but how do I learn to talk to her the way I used to in the little time I have? How do I let her know that I think I can forgive her now? And how do I say goodbye when I don't know how to accept that I have to?
And how do I comfort my father, who loves his mother desperately and who will be crushed by her leaving us, when he won't acknowledge how much he is hurting?
I feel selfish trying to figure out how to make my own way through this when the one who should be being helped is Gramma. I just can't find in me an answer on how to do it. Maybe tomorrow will bear a little more hope. I don't have it in me to pray for anything more than easing her way, I think that is all that will be possible, I know now that she is going, I just wish we all had the time to prepare and ability to wrap our minds around the notion that it is really happening. Goodnight.