“Come on, Noah. Its time to go.”
We had stopped for lunch at a fast food restaurant with a play area. As I wiped away tears and willed myself to get it together, Liam and Kellen obliviously climbed through the plastic maze playing some sort of a game of chase.
Noah’s grandmother began to put on his shoes. As she bent over his tiny feet to tie the laces, I heard her say, “It’s always best to leave when you are still having a good time.”
It made me think of Chris and how truly right she was.
A few minutes prior, we had been visiting my grandmother. Perhaps it is because I hadn’t seen her in a few months, but her condition startled me. She knew who I was. She recognized the boys, and seemed glad to see us all. But she is slipping away in the most slow, heartbreaking way. It’s horrible to watch.
Liam seemed uncomfortable to be in her room. He wouldn’t really talk, and kept looking at me in the way that pleaded can we go now? I noticed cookies and lemonade near the entrance upon our arrival. I sent him with Ben to retrieve the treats.
On my last visit, I took my grandmother on walks and to bingo. She had a pedicure and a hair cut. I left feeling good. I gave myself the pat on the back for being a good grand daughter.
Today, the rain poured. There was no escaping for a pleasant stroll outside. I asked if she too would like to take a walk and get a cookie. She said no, she just wanted to stay in her apartment where it was warm.
Lunchtime came and she didn’t want to go to the dining room. I told her she needed to go, she had to eat. She attempted to again refuse, but I insisted. She HAS to eat. She bent to my will, and told me she needed to comb her hair. I waited for her to get up with her walker and go to the restroom. But she couldn’t get out of the chair. I held out my hands for her, but that was not enough. I put my arms under her shoulders, and pulled her to a standing position. This was new. On my last visit, she could still get around. Not well, but she could get to the bathroom without help. Now, she can’t get to a standing position on her own.
I’m so mad right now. I know it’s life. We don’t get to choose, and we all have to go sometime. But I just want to scream, and hit shit and break things and cry. My brother is taken at forty two. My grandma keeps drifting so slowly, hanging on, every day getting a little bit worse than the last. What the fuck? WHAT THE FUCK?!?!?!
I tried to distract myself. I texted a friend. I planned a last evening out before I leave to return home. But for my friends, life is already moving on. Not because they want it to, but because it has do. There are jobs to go to, errands to run and meals to plan. They went through this a few days ago. They were here when it happened.
I had to travel to get to this place. Since my arrival, I have had a constant string of distractions. Plans to be made, relatives to visit, old friends to see. Today, the distractions are over. It is now time to deal, and I can’t stand it.
I feel guilty, like I squandered the good mojo of yesterday. I didn’t hold on to it. It slipped right through my fingers.
A friend told me that grief changes- sometimes it feels like an ocean, other times a desert. When she first said this to me, I imagined the over flow of love from everyone as the ocean. I imagined being on my own, in solitude, as the desert.
Today, the ocean feels like never ending sorrow, waves of tears that won’t end. I long for the dry air of the desert to evaporate these tears and create a barren space.
I hate that I am writing this. What purpose does sharing this sadness serve? But jesus, it just hurts so bad. I just want this to be over.