5 weeks ago my gram spent sometime in the hospital due to a heart attack, which showed us that one of her artificial arteries had 100% blockage. There was nothing we could do. But she would be okay as long as she started taking better care of herself, which she ended up quitting smoking (cold turkey by the way) because she wasn’t ready to die. She came home and life continued.
That was 5 weeks ago.
10/29; per the usual I call home at some point to check on Emma. It’s Saturday night and of course I want to be anywhere but at work especially knowing I had the next several days off. AND halloween was Monday, excitedly I had changed my costume last minute to Pikachu instead of being Harley Quinn. I mainly had called my aunt to see if she would drop the wig off some a woman I work with could use it for her daughter. Because I had left it in my aunts car.
Aunt: I don’t think I’ll be able to stop by, I’m taking gram to the hospital because she thinks she has a virus. I don’t know where should could have gotten one from? But you know gram.
I ask what hospital, I promise to call when I’m leaving work. The usual. 9:45, my aunt, my sister and my gram walk in. Small talk. I decide to drive up after work, I kiss my gram, who insists on staying at work with me until 11. I laugh, I tell her I love her and I will see her soon. She yells at me to head south to avoid the highway.
I laugh it off.
My gram is undoubtedly my best friend. When I was 10, she saved my life. She took me out of a messy, confusing situation that no child should be part of it. August 2001 I moved from VA-NY to live with my grandparents. So for the last 15 years, it’s always been my gram. When I attempted suicide, she stopped me, she saved me. Good news, bad news, tempers, its been my gram. If i get in trouble or need help, she digs me out. for 15 years. She had been my biggest fan. She told me what lipsticks she hated, what hair colors she loved. She hated my tattoos, but never minded my nose piercing. She loved my nude make up but hated my smokey eye. She hated my long hair, but hated when I would get hair cuts.
She spoiled me rotten for 15 years because she felt it was owed to me. She loved me when I felt as though no one else did.
Instead of heading south, I head north and take the highway. Surprisingly I didn’t get lost until I got to Northern BLVD in Albany. I get to the ER where my Aunt and sister meet me in the garage, I ended up being able to snag a spot right next to her van. We walk in the cold back up the ER she tells me about gram, how it seems and sounds like another heart attack, she tells me how that little spitfire is flirting with male nurses and EMTs. Albany Med is redoing the ER so of course its a clusterfuck. Only two visitors at a time are allowed in the ER. I go into to gram, I come out, I tell my aunt I’m fine to wait in the waiting room. She gets angry, she was nervous because it was the Saturday before halloween and I would be alone. She sends Kayla out. Eventually times goes by and she comes out and says “I want you and Kayla to go home, its 230am, go and say goodbye to gram and come back in the morning” I agree, I don’t mind. I go in, I kiss her goodbye, I tell her I love her and Kayla and I will be back first thing in the morning. She tells me to be safe.
Kayla and I get home at around 330am. I tell her to pack a bag and lay out clothes for tomorrow because we are leaving no later than 8am. (10/30) We ended up stopping for gas which put us 15 minutes late. But this time, we didn’t get lost. My aunt meets us outside, I snag the same parking spot and says my Aunt says “She's not doing well.” I know nothing at this point I just wanna see my gram. I want to see my rock. She then says to Kayla and I “I’m warning you guys, she's not doing well, she's very very confused, she doesn't know where she is, she keeps asking for help. be patient, tell her you love and comfort her.’
This. Was. The. Fucking. Hardest. I’m going to avoid this part of the story and say she needed emergency brain surgery due to swelling and bleeding in her brain. I held her hand, told her I loved her, kissed her and told her she will be ok.
Except, she wasn’t. The surgery went well, except the bleed came back and doubled in sized. The doctors said it would take some time for her to wake up. She wouldn’t be able to talk, she would need a feeding tube, she wouldn’t be able to walk, she would be paralyzed on her left side and she would need to move. Move out of the home her and I created. 10/31 she never woke up. My aunt sat everyone down while kayla and I sat in the SICU/NICU with gram. There was nothing more we could do to save her. We decided 11/1 would be the day we removed her from life support.
How and why? just saturday she was just giving me a hard time, laughing. I broke down. My best friend gone. I was angry. I was regretful. I spoke to her, her last night. I fell asleep in her room. I told her if I could do it all over again I would. I would be nicer, I would have more patience with her. I kissed her cheek. I spent every day in the hospital with her until she passed away. I was in the room when she took her last breath.
Of all the things I do, I refused to feel guilty. I spoke to that woman everyday, I saw that woman everyday. The tears that fall for her are NOT tears of guilt they are tears of sadness because I will need to figure out life without her.