I lost my amazing grandmother on Monday, August 6th at about 6am. And then I had to cry all the way to work, put on my big girl face, and work all day long. being an adult bites, big time!
It was one of the most horrible moments. Worse than any injury, or boyfriend breakup, or being abused by my ex husband, or being fired, or anything...Actually, it was the worst moment in my 28 years on this earth, and it still feels that way.
It's been 4 days now, and I still feel like it can't possibly be true. It hurts to breathe, I have had a migraine since then. Even though in the last 5 years, her Alzheimer's has been slowly taking her away from us, but she was still there...I could touch her, and I could hear her voice.
The other week I was looking at a photo of her from my cousin's wedding, in 2002, and I thought, "Damn, I miss her!" and I thought to myself, what a horrible thing to say about a person who is still alive. It was because of the Alzheimer's.
There were times when I would call her every Sunday from Chicago and she would tell my dad she hadn't heard from me in years. But she always, always, ALWAYS knew who I was. No matter what...until about 2 weeks ago.
Two weeks ago she was complaining of persistent left arm pain, so my grandpa took her to the ER, I met him there, and I was in my scrubs still, because it was after work. I held her hand, and helped them keep her still to get an IV in. I helped her up to the bathroom, I helped her into the wheel chair, I helped her back into her clothes when it was all over. I'm trained to do this stuff, I can at least help my grandpa out by giving him a break. She looked at me and said "You all are so sweet here!"
It took my breath away for a minute, she thought I was one of the nurses. I took her fragile face in my hands and said "Ma, it's Emily, your Emily. I'm here." She had no idea. This was the very first time she didn't know me. She told me I was beautiful, and "a good little nursie." So props for that.
I cried all the way home. I knew she couldn't help it, but it broke me a little.
That was the last time I saw her. I was no longer her "Em," but her "nursie," and that's OK...because that's what she needed that day.
I miss her so bad it hurts. I miss the crafts we made, the flowers we planted, the long talks about nothing. The time I accidentally turned the shower on her, fully clothed....when I was 7 and she never let me live it down. My little mop that I used to follow her around with when I was just barely walking. I miss watching the deer in the morning with her. I miss hearing about all the genealogy research she had done. I miss the cards she sent every time I went away to camp, and even into college...once a month, without fail.
People keep telling me it will get better, and I know it will get easier, but it will never get better, because I will never again have my Ma again.
I know she is no longer in pain, and she has her memories again, and she is looking down on us, and I am so happy for that. I love you so much Ma,
Your Miss Em
and your "Nursie" when you needed me the most
This picture was taken just before my wedding. My wedding was held outside and she couldn't make it out there because of the slope of the ground, so we got her a special inside seat so she could watch from the window. This also meant that she got to see the bride FIRST, which made her day! Now that my marriage is over, I don't care a bit about ANY of the photos except these first few with my Ma! I love them and I will always cherish those first few moments I had with her before marrying that jerk face!