I was so looking forward to June. When school let out things would be so much better - no more homework to check, no clothes to get ready for the next day, no lunches to pack, etc. etc. - more free time, more crafting, more fun things with the family. At least that was the plan. But then again; things don't often go the way we plan. And that would certainly be the case for my June.
Right after school let out, I got a call that my grandmother was being taken to the hospital. For the next week, she was in the ICU fluctuating from grave condition to almost normal - sitting up and chatting away with everyone visiting. It was an emotionally straining week as we rode a roller coaster of frequently preparing for the worse and then being able to breathe a sigh a relief as things got better. And things were actually getting a bit better when she abruptly lost her fight. Going up & down so many times during the week; we had already prepared for this; but it still doesn't make it any easier. The finality of it still even hits me so hard today..... I'm really not going to see her again. It's still so hard to believe. I know she had been going through so much that week and that she had been dealing with diabetes and Parkinson's for a number of years - now she would be at peace - now she could rest. But at the next family gathering (& we have many); she won't be there. That really hurts to think about.
|My gram at my son's Christening 2003|
She was literally the core of our huge family. She raised 6 great kids, had 15 grandchildren, and 8 great grandchildren. And she was deeply involved with each and every one of us.
While she was trained as a nurse, she ended up making her career her family. And what an amazing job she did at that. We are each so very grateful for the legacy that is this great family that she created. Even with all those kids, grandkids, and great grand kids; she always kept up with what each and everyone one of them was doing. We joked that she was like Grand Central....everything went in and out through her. If you wanted to know where your aunt was going to be or what was new with your cousins; she would know. If there was a dance recital, a ball game, a graduation, or a baptism; she would be there. She always was - even if it meant traveling to a different community or even different states - she was there. Even as she got older, had health issues, and spent most of her time in a wheel chair - she was there. As a matter of fact, she was even at two graduations the two days before she went to the hospital. She was a tough cookie, she was funny, she was loving, she was involved. She was everything you could want in a grandmother and I am going to miss her terribly. I will truly cherish all the memories I have and as they say; she will live on through those.
- sitting in the rain at a nearby lake for labor day (rain or shine, she rarely missed family gatherings) I love how she's smiling away despite the rain!
- making silly faces at one of the great grand children. It's always been all about family.
- dancing up a storm in her wheelchair at my cousins wedding. Even when she had limitations - she never let it keep her from being involved and enjoying time with the family.
I will miss her so. But will treasure all the memories and certainly all the great things she had taught me - most importantly the importance of family. Rest in peace Gram.
***********Unfortunately, my gram wasn't the only thing I was dealing with. Literally, the same day gram passed; I had to say goodbye to our 14 yr. old German Shepard too. Anyone that knows me, knows that my animals are almost as important to me as anyone in my family. Our animals are family.
|All three dogs in their early years|
Life with three dogs can be a challenge at times; but we had so many great times with the three of them. Each of the other dogs passed on around 10 yrs. which isn't that uncommon for large dogs. And since they were all different ages; it had only been Abe around the house for about the last 5 or so yrs. And when they're the only dog, that bond gets even stronger. And Abe was an amazing dog - loyal, patient, friendly, handsome, intelligent. The rescue agency often said that if he hadn't been so bonded to his "sister"; they would have considered putting him in police training - he had all the right qualities to make an excellent K9 officer. But they felt it was more important to keep him with the sister he had bonded so strong to. And we were lucky to have benefited from having him.
Much like my gram, losing him wasn't a complete shock, but wasn't any easier either. Abe had developed severe arthritis a couple years back - pretty common for large dogs. For the last couple years, he had his good days & bad days. But over the last several months, it had gotten progressively worse. Eventually it got to the point where he couldn't keep his back legs up most of the time & we had to carry him around like a wheel barrow to help him move. It was heart breaking. But even more so when you could tell he was still completely there mentally - only his body wasn't keeping up. Eventually, his front legs couldn't support him much either. After a couple days of seeing him struggle to get around and actually carrying him most of the time anyway; we realized we had to make a decision. It was time to let him go. We talked to the vet, made arrangements, and then we got the news about my gram. I couldn't believe this was all happening at the same time, but still knew we had to let him rest in peace as well.
Two losses at the same time - I don't think I've ever been so upset or cried so much before. And with each day that passes; it still doesn't all seem real. I can't tell you the number of times I've thought I needed to put the dog out. Or how many times I've thought, "Oh you know, Gram would have said to ...." It will take time and I will probably never stop missing them. But it feels good to hold on to all the wonderful memories.
So basically, everyday life abruptly stopped for a couple weeks around here. This week I've been trying to bring things back to some type of normal - paying bills, catching up on two weeks of laundry (I can't believe how much laundry has accumulated in two weeks!). And of course, I'm trying to get back to creating too. I've spent a lot of this week working on some SNS projects that I had started earlier in the month. So I'll have some new SNS things to share with you real soon. Hopefully, I'll be back with a project or two tomorrow or the next day. So I'll see you with that in a bit.
If you've read all of this, I'm very appreciative that you have taken the time. For me, I guess it wasn't so much that anyone did or didn't read this; more that I just needed to "let it out". I think I've spent so much time trying to catch up this week; that I just needed to step back & think for a few minutes about what had happened this month so I could continue moving along.
Again, I always appreciate your stopping by my blog and in this case, sharing in a bit of my world.
Until next time,