Sunday, September 2, 2012

Oh grandma...

(pic taken friday night, august 31, 2012)
Last night (September 1st) I got a call that I have been dreading and refusing to think about for the past 5 years.
5 years to the date, in fact...
My Dear Grandpa passed away September, 1 2007 after a grueling 2 year fight with lung cancer.
I remember that day like it was yesterday...the pain seemed almost unbearable...
my grandpa, my untouchable, larger than life grandpa,
who had been there (along with grandma) all my life...every important event (graduation, prom dates, first marathons) and so many seemingly unimportant everyday ones --which really end up being the most important--(conversations in the car, stories over a deck of cards, and 99cent grab bags from the local candy store) 
I remember aching and refusing to believe that our family rock was really gone...
It just didn't seem possible. I had naively convinced myself that my grandpa would beat lung cancer,
He just had to, 
for us.
and for grandma.
His death was so very hard on our whole family.
We all bawled like little babies at his funeral telling favorite stories of growing up with our wonderful grandparents...stories filled with paper dolls, tractor rides, real life witches (my grandma used to get decked out in costume every halloween), all you can eat bologna and wonder bread :), fishing at the lake, huge 4th of july dance parties, cliff jumping (oh gramps that was amazing!), tall tales, riddles, lots of card games (full of cheating!), big dinners, Thanksgiving football, judge judy reruns, and oh so much laughter!
I remember sitting in the cultural hall with my dear family laughing and crying
and looking over at my grandma's tear streaked face, forcing a smile for us grandkids, and 
having the realization hit me like a ton of bricks...
She's not going to be here forever either.

And that is when my 5 year ache started.

Not a totally bad one.
Just a gnawing "cherish every moment" sort of one.
It made me hug her more, call her more, listen to her stories,
snap a lot more pictures with my camera and my heart,
and tell her that I loved her every chance that I got.
And I am so glad that I did, because yesterday
September 1, 2012
My dear grandma passed away.
Just writing that sentence brings the tears again.
It just feels surreal...

Our family had gotten together this past weekend for my cousin Jenn's wedding (friday) in northern utah.
We had a ball like always...snapping pictures, eating some good food, laughing and reminiscing.
My grandma looked so beautiful and seemed so vibrant.
I told her that.
She joked around like always about us both being "petite little things"
and I just hugged her and took it all in before saying goodbye for the night.

The next morning Sonny and I drove out to Sandy, UT to spend some more time with my grandma, 
my aunt Rose, my sister and Todd & Lisa to celebrate little Eliza's 2 year old birthday.
It was great to just sit and talk.
My sister reminded me about it being my Grandpa's anniversary of his death 
and I sat down to be with my Grandma and see how she was doing.
She told me she "misses him just as much today as she did 5 years ago today."
I told her I did too and we continued to talk about other things like fashion, grandkids, and some secrets ;)
We stayed until 2pm. My Grandma and Aunt Rose wanted to get on the road to make sure they wouldn't be driving in the dark.
There were hugs, I love you's, and Drive safe's as we said goodbye.
My grandma waved out the window as they pulled away...
and life went on.

At 7:15 that night I got the call from my mom while eating dinner at Costa Vida.
She gave it to me straight.

My grandma and Aunt Rose had been in a terrible car accident near Burley, ID
There was lots of water. They hydroplaned and went off the road.
The car rolled several times and landed on the hood.
My Aunt Rose was able to get out of her door (a miracle) and run to my grandma's side.
She tried to get grandma out, but there was a barbed wire fence that kept catching.
My Aunt Rose just held her mother's head up out of the water until a man (bless you!) came to help.
Together they were able to pull grandma to safety.
They piled her with blankets...she had been responding to questions...but soon coded.
The man started CPR.
For the next few hours, my grandma was resuscitated several times until she finally passed away 
around 8pm.
They believe it was from a ruptured Aorta.

As I lay in my bed last night thinking about my sweet grandma and shedding I'm sure 1,000 tears
and knowing that all 11 of her grandchildren were doing the same thing in various places...
I was feeling two different emotions at once...
1) I am going to miss her so very very much. (Oh it hurts!)
2)I am so happy that she finally gets to be with her love. grandpa.
They have one of the greatest love stories ever.
And from the time that they married when my grandma was 16 years old,
they never (ever) spent a night a part.
I know these last 5 years for my grandma were so lonely and she felt severed in half.
I can't even imagine (though I am going to do my best) just how precious that reunion was.

Thank you. For making me who I am today.
The world just feels so different without you, 
but Heaven sure does feel like home now with you and grandpa there.
Thank you for your unconditional love all of my life.
You were more than a grandma,
you were a dear friend.
I sure am going to miss you.
you petite little thing :)