Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Answered Prayers and Grief

The only prayer I've ever prayed, in which I've asked God to take someone has been answered. At 11:45 p.m. on Sunday, January 9th, my grandmother passed away after a long battle with Alzheimers. I knew it was coming. I'd even had the chance to take Hannah to her house the night before, so that she could say goodbye. When I went back to work after Hannah was born, my grandma watched her one day a week, and they developed a special bond, one that none of her other great-grandchildren were fortunate enough to have with her. I still have a photo showing the 5 generations: my great-grandmother, my grandmother, my father, myself, and Hannah. I know how rare that is, so I'm thankful.

After arriving in Doha at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday evening and getting less than 4 hours of sleep, I woke up at 3:30 a.m. Wednesday morning (today) to catch a flight to NYC, then on to Dallas-Ft. Worth and on to Home State so that I can attend the funeral. I'll be giving a reading at the funeral, a poem she cut out from the local newspaper over 11 years ago. She gave it to me, somewhat randomly, and said "I want you to read this at my funeral." I saved it all these years. I don't know how it ended up making/surviving the move to Doha. But when we got home, I knew exactly where to look. And there it was.

Though I'll only be reading the poem, there's so much more that I want to say. I want to say that she was the grandmother everyone deserves to have. She could laugh with the biggest smile, she loved God, she was devoted for life to my grandfather no matter how long ago he died, and she was the first to ask if you were hungry as soon as you walked into her house. She somehow managed to balance the act of spoiling grandkids with chocolate ice cream, chips, and our favorite sugary cereals (Cookie Crisp!) with the discipline and punishment of finding just the right switch (you know, for spanking your ass) from the willow tree in her front yard if you pushed her far enough. She came to basketball games, spelling bees, graduations, and weddings. She never learned to drive, but she got around more than anyone else I know. She wasn't perfect, but she was a perfect grandmother, and I will miss her light and love so much.

Knowing that she was dying and getting the chance to say goodbye to her was supposed to make it less painful, but it only took the initial sting away. It still hurts. I still grieve. And I'm sad that I'm having to make this journey back home for the funeral alone, especially without Hannah, who really wanted to come. I know she's in a better place, that she's no longer in pain, and that she's back with my grandfather, the only thing she's wanted for many years. May they both rest together in peace and know how much they were loved.


Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry. How wonderful that she and your daughter had a special bond. I'm glad she's not suffering anymore.

L said...

I'm sorry for your loss, grief is hard to bear, especially when it's for a loved one so wonderful and dear to you as your grandmother was.

I hope you have a good trip and I'm really pleased that you were able to find the poem your grandma wanted you to read. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family right now.

kenandbelly said...

I'm so sorry for your loss.

It sounds like she was a beautiful soul.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for your loss, AcadeMama. And I am sorry for the incredibly awful timing, and all the travel time, and the turning around too soon and doing it all over again. It really sucks. I know. It happened to me, too, with my Dad.

I'm glad you were able to say goodbye, and that Hannah had that last special time with a woman who had so much influence in both your lives. I'm glad for you, too, that you had a grandmama who make you feel loved and special. What a lovely heritage.