Tuesday, June 14, 2011

When I Look To The Sky...

Today, I got a phone call I've been expecting for quite some time... and a phone call like many I've gotten before. My Grandmother has been fighting to stay alive for quite some time. In fact, I can't remember a time in my life where she was actually 100% healthy, or even close honestly, and I'm a couple months shy of 21 years old. She's always been up against something, but one things for certain: this woman is a fighter. I think maybe that's where I get it from...

She has fought tooth and nail, day in and day out, for her right to be alive, and boy has she made those moments count. I can't tell you the number of times I've said goodbye, knowing it was the last time I'd ever see her, or talk to her, but by some miracle, she came around. She has been to countless numbers of events, holidays, and family gatherings that everyone in the medical field told us she'd never live to see... but she did. Unfortunately, I have this gut feeling that this time, it's going to be different. 

After a long year of quickly deteriorating health resulting in a feeding tube, several extended hospital visits, home health care, and more medication than any one human should have to take in a lifetime, she's done fighting. After countless tests in the last week or so, there are just so many things up against her... not the least of which are multiple staff infections, severe trouble breathing, a right lung almost completely full of fluid, obstruction of the feeding tube resulting in inability to feed her for over a week, etc. It would be a miracle to see this take a turn for anything but the worst. 

She is my saving grace. I can't even begin to touch on the kind of selfless absolutely wholeheartedly loving person she is. As much as she's suffered in the almost 21 years of my life, I have never heard her so much as utter an unkind word about anyone. For those of you that know the implications of my behind the scenes family life, you know that that is an exceptional feat. It takes a special soul to embrace the good side of every human being even when you fail to see it, but somehow, she does. I want to be like that when I grow up. 

All that to say, what we may see as the worst may ultimately be the best... I am nowhere near okay with the notion of her being gone, but at this point, I am allowing myself to be okay with letting her go. For those of you currently questioning my morals, please know that that was no where near as easy to say as it was to type in this text box... and it's going to be twice if not fifty times harder to stand by that statement when the time comes. 

I was talking to a friend of mine tonight who has been gracious enough to distract me and keep me company... and in sitting outside and looking up to the sky as if it would hold some kind of answer, I realized, it did... It doesn't matter where we are, whether it be in Virginia, a neighboring state, half way across the country, or in the outer expanses of the universe... we all look at the same stars. I found it comforting to know, that when all is said and done, the only real difference is our vantage point... To me, that makes heaven feel a little bit closer.

I can't, in good conscience, ask her to suffer anymore. She has truly been a pillar of my family at the best of times, but most significantly, at the worst of times... and I will sleep soundly tonight knowing that she knows just how much that she means to me in that capacity. I consider myself lucky to have had the chance to say thank you and goodbye over and over again and reiterate my love and deepest gratitude to her for who she has been, is, and always will be to me. I know that a lot of people don't get that chance. It is through tearful eyes and with the heaviest heart that I conclude this, but I must. I have never known her to leave anything unfinished and as hard as this is to say, I'm not about to leave anything undone when honoring her...

So to my Grandmother, my hero, and my biggest inspiration... Whether it be two hours, two days, a week, a month or a year: I wish the most peaceful and painless transition from this life into the paradise that you've fought for forever. I'm so sorry you had to suffer for so long. 

I will look to the sky...
All my love


  1. So beautiful. So honest. So true. I am honored and proud to be your father! I know just how you feel...Oma's mom and Opa's mother were very much like her. We have truly been blessed. I love you, Laura. Dad

  2. Thank you Laura- for sharing from your heart. You captured Oma- and I am certain that each one of her children/grandchildren would say the same things about her!! She is one SPECIAL lady- who has left a mark on so many lives. When God decides it is her time- I know it will be a time to Celebrate her life and know she is finally "painfree" and at "peace". Love to all our family at this time,
    Aunt Billie

  3. I'm so very sorry Laura, I am in tears at your words. I am thinking of you, and saying a prayer for you tonight. XOXO

  4. Laura , Such beautiful words written here.
    I am in tears . Yes , we do all share the same stars & those stars do bring comfort .
    Blessings to you Laura.
    Frances (deafsinger)