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2017 WENDY CORREEN SMITH. Powered by Blogger.



Tonight I simply sat by her side and watched her dream. My heart was already heavy and my eyes were already glazed over before I had arrived. My sister had gone to visit her earlier in the day. Grandma begged and pleaded my sister to take her home. She was desperate to leave, to the point of saying that if my sister loved her, she'd take her home. She said she didn't feel well and that her lungs hurt. My sister left and cried the whole way home, as I cried the moment I got to my car today. She was the woman that rocked us to sleep. My sister was rocked to sleep for years longer than most children, we still laugh at the memory of Haley's legs hanging over the side of Grandma's blue recliner as she sang her a lullaby and rocked her to sleep. Grandma was the one that made us home cooked meals, the ones that you eat and know you are loved. She made our little cups of tea with milk and sugar so that we could act like her. She gave us our bubble baths before bed, and let us use her fancy perfumed powder, before she tucked us into our perfectly made beds. Memories of the comfort this woman gave us will flood my entire soul, and my heart literally breaks into a million pieces when we are not able to give her the same comfort back in return. I feel irrational and crazy when I imagine myself putting her in my car and taking her home. I envision myself waking up and feeding her a home cooked breakfast, holding her hand throughout the day, taking her for short walks to feel the fresh air and sunshine, and giving her the comfort of home that she gave our entire family. I brainstorm all the ways that I could care for her in my home, only for the reality of the health challenges and the safety concerns to wash them all away. 

Lately, I've noticed my mom and sister speaking about my grandma in a way that I feel they are letting go. They talk about her as if her last days physically here with us are close. My mom and I don't get into serious conversations about it, we both end up crying so hard the words no longer matter, but we both know in our hearts that we need to face it or at least somewhat emotionally prepare, if there is such a thing. Honestly, the majority of the time I have a guard up against those thoughts, all the while deep inside I know, as with anybody, that she will be gone one day. 

Today, on my way to visit her, I knew she was being watched closely as her lungs have been hurting and her heart rate and oxygen levels were low. I was trying to say a prayer, and then I paused while fighting back the tears, because I didn't know what to pray for anymore. Should I continue hoping and praying that she fight for this life and that her body heals? I started to think that I was selfish for expecting her to continue holding onto this life. The reality of her life is that she can barely see, her hearing is minimal, and she cannot taste much of her food. All of her independence is gone, she cannot go to bathroom or shower alone. And the hardest part of all is that she is alone 90% of the time, or with strangers. Her space is the size of some people's master bathrooms, and almost all of her possessions have been given away. All that she has is her family. She is the most selfless person I know and I do believe, if she were given the option, she'd hang onto this life until every single person she loves was at peace with her leaving. I know this is in God's hands, but the thought of my obligation of "letting go" has entered my mind and has brought me to a place where I still need to find peace. 

On most days I am inspired and my heart is warmed when I see her smile and I wonder how she has the strength to live and love, and fight for this life of hers. She is the greatest inspiration. She carries on with grace, and usually with a smile on her face. 

Although today was a tough day, I wanted to feel it deeply. I wrote this because I wanted to remember the beauty I felt when I watched her sleeping, although my face was burning hot from the tears I was trying to hide, it was a moment I knew I needed to keep. I want to remember her tenderness as her soft delicate hand held mine as I kissed her goodnight. Her soft voice and the love that radiates from her being, are pieces of this day that I want to carry in my heart forever. 

We never know when we may lose a loved one. My grandma has given us one roller coaster of a ride over the last few years, and she has amazed us all with her strength and ability to bounce back from weakness. She has taught me so much about life, love, courage, faith, and grace. The last few years have reinforced the importance of living each day to fullest and loving with all your heart, don't ever take for granted the simple everyday moments with the ones you love. In the end, they are really all that matters in this world.

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 
- 2 Corinthians 12:9

Wendy Correen Smith
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