Time of death 2:15pm….April 26, 2014 will be a day that I will never forget. I’m going to be honest; this will probably be the most difficult post to write thus far. April 26, 2014 at 2:15pm my world changed forever. This was the date and time that my Grandmother transitioned from labor to rest…
Growing up, and even as an adult, it was always the highlight of my weekend when my mom told my sister and me that we were going to travel to see Grandma. We knew that when we got there she would greet us with her loving embrace, a smile, a “Hello Plum” (her nickname for her grand-daughters ) and would send us on our way at the end of the visit with a dollar or two to put in our pocket (she even did this to us as adults lol). We would spend the afternoon engulfed in laughter as she told us different things going on in her world, or what happened on the latest episode of the Young and the Restless. It was always a good time when we would go to visit, or even better when she would come here to stay with Mama for a few weeks. I guess I always thought that she would be around forever, or at least I’d hope that she would.
All of that changed April 15, 2014 when I received a call from my cousin at work letting me know that Grandma had been rushed to the hospital. Immediately my heart dropped and anxiety started to kick in as I didn’t know what was about to happen next. Thoughts of no God not yet, please spare her life…we need her here…among other things ran through my mind. That was the longest 45 minute drive to get to the hospital where they had admitted her. Once my mom, sister and I arrived, after a few hours it seemed that she was going to be okay and they were just going to keep her for observation. On the drive back home we received another call that she was being airlifted to Duke as a blood vessel had burst on her brain and they needed to do surgery immediately. Now my Grandma has always been a fighter. She endured a lot in her 87 years of life, and I prayed that this time would be no different. She made it through the surgery without any complications but need to remain in ICU for observation. It wasn’t until that next morning that my mother informed me that she had a stroke overnight and had been placed in a medically induced coma, where she remained for the next week. Words really cannot describe all that my family went thru that week. It was so hard walking in her room, holding her hand, talking to her while watching a machine breath for her. Nothing was as hard as having to say the final goodbye….
After being on the ventilator for a week my family made the decision to remove her from the machine and allow the Lord’s will to be done. This particular Saturday, the weather was absolutely gorgeous. There were minimal clouds, a nice breeze, just an all-around peaceful day. We arrived at the hospital that morning for the doctors to remove the tube. It was nothing but the Lord that allowed Grandma to regain consciousness after they removed the tube so that she could see and talk to her family one last time. The final 2 hours of her life she was filled with and surrounded by love of her 6 children, 11 grandchildren and 1 of her great grands. We each were able to go in to talk to her, let her know that we loved her and was able to give her one last kiss. I will never forget the way she looked up at me and was able to mouth the word “beautiful” as one tear fell from her eye. I will hold that moment deep in my heart for the rest of my life. Her face was filled with so much joy when I brought Sweet Pea in the room and placed her hand in Grandma’s hand…one last time…
I was not in the room when she took her last breath, but once I made it inside the room it was filled with my entire family. We all sat in silence, some weeping as the matriarch of our family had completed her journey here on earth and had transitioned to her Heavenly home. I’ve never experienced death in this manner before, especially not with someone so close to my heart. Hearing the doctor announce her time of death seemed unreal and I knew that at any moment someone was going to pinch me and wake me up from this bad dream.
Here we are a year later and I still feel like this is just a bad dream that I can’t wake up from. I have not been able to go to her gravesite since I watched them lower her casket into the vault. I just don’t know when I will be ready. I guess a part of me still doesn’t want to face the reality that she’s gone. If only I was able to hear her voice again, see her smile again, hold her hand, give her a great big hug and promise that I would see her again soon. Some say that it will get better with time, but I haven’t been able to prove this theory to be true yet. This wound is still very fresh in my heart and sometimes it’s just easier to not think about.
So as I gaze out of my office window, looking into the sky I know that somewhere up there my angel is gazing back at me smiling and saying “Tesha I’m okay.” Just as I told you that day, April 26, 2014, as that tear fell from your eye, and today as tears fall from mine…”I love you and I’m going to make you proud.”
Rest in Paradise Grandma. I love you and miss you so much.