A couple of months ago, we found out that my dad’s mother had cancer. Maybe it was longer ago than that. We’re not too close with my dad’s side of the family, and we don’t hear from them as often as we hear from Dearma (Mom’s mom), but still, it is my grandmother. About two weeks ago, we heard that she was getting pretty bad, and probably wouldn’t make it much more than three weeks. Dad really wanted to get up there, but surviving from paycheck to paycheck doesn’t leave much leeway for getting a plane ticket back to Pennsylvania on such short notice.
Mom posted a prayer request to some of her friends, some of which she’s never met in person, and two ladies in particular felt led to bless my family financially, so we had gone from “I wish we could get Dad up there at least,” to “Well, let’s tell the kids that at the end of this week we’re going to PA.” I would stay home. I had work, and a million pets at home to take care of.
Last Monday night, Dad came home from work crying. His sister (who seriously never talks to us) had called him and told him that the only reason his mom was holding on this long was that she wanted to see him again. It was decided that the family was leaving first thing the next morning. We grabbed everything together, packed it, and I shooed the family out at about nine the next morning. They drove straight through and made it to his parents’ house in about twenty-four hours.
She’s been getting steadily worse, and they knew she wasn’t going to make it for more than a couple more days. She was awake for some time to see and talk to the family, but as the days went on, she was only waking up for fifteen minutes or so, and she was in a lot of pain. We knew it wouldn’t be long.
This morning, one of the dogs woke me up at about five thirty. I let him out, and then went back to bed because my alarm wasn’t set to go off until about seven thirty (sleep in day!). During the time that I was asleep, I had a strange dream.
Mom-mom (that’s what we called her growing up) was sitting in an old fashioned horse-drawn carriage, and I was helping her with the blanket on her lap and the pillow behind her, trying to get her comfortable.
“I’m sorry you couldn’t be here,” she said.
“But I am here.”
“It’s okay that you weren’t here before.” She was straightening her blanket, folding her hands on her lap. “I have to go soon, so I’m glad you are here now.” The carriage started to pull away as I stood and watched.
“Goodbye!” I called. She turned slightly in her seat and waved back at me. Shortly after that, I woke up to the sound of my phone making its “you’ve just been texted” noise. I knew, before I even reached for the phone, what had happened.
“Your grandmother passed away this morning.”
I guess there’s not much else to say. I’m glad I got to say goodbye, kind of in my own way. I like to think that she stopped by here before she went to be with God. It’s an oddly comforting thought. I’m sad that she’s gone, happy that she’s no longer in pain, and vaguely disgusted with myself for not caring more than I do. Goodbye, I guess. I’ll see you on the other side.