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 :)



Paul said...

To my dear niece: My Hopes, Prayers and especially my Thoughts are offered to you, your family and to all of the family of your Dear Sweet Petite very special Grandma. She will be missed as is your dear Grandpa. I enjoyed very much my opportunity to know them both. I'm a better person because of them. May the comforting spirit of the Grace of God be with you all.
Your blog entry is most precious and I'm thankful for your sweet spirit.
Uncle Paul

Terry said...

My eyes are full of tears for all of you. I hope that my grandchildren will love me that much. What a special lady she must have been. My love and prayers are with you. I have no doubt that she will lovingly watching over you and your little family. Love you all so much!

Lindsay said...

Just aching for you reading this. What a beautiful lady. She seems like such a fun & sweet person. What a blessing that you were able to see her that day & have a wonderful time with her. Ah, I'm so sad & sorry Kristen. Loves.

Lisa said...

This was so beautiful. The perfect tribute to an amazing mom, grandma, wife, sister and woman! I'm not sure how you could meet her and not love her.

The Olson family said...

Oh Kristin,
My heart is aching for you. What a beautiful tribute to your dear grandma. I know you were so close to her. I hope you continue to feel her close as she watches over you. Heaven is closer than we realize. I love you so much my friend! Hugs!

nicole said...

I can't tell you how much I just want to hug you forever and tell you how truly sorry I am that this happened. Beautiful beautiful tribute... this one was for the books! What a tender mercy that you were able to be with her earlier that day. I have no doubt your grandma is looking down upon you, just beaming. I seriously can't believe 5 years to the date...your grandpa was missing his love. I love you so much and I am praying for you and your family.

Tricia Lovato said...

What a beautiful tribute to your sweet Grandma. She sounds like such an amazing woman. I know she is very close by you and is very proud of you. She is finally with her sweet husband. My heart just aches for the loss that you are feeling. I am so glad you were able to see her and visit with her and take that picture...2 beautiful women! I will be praying for you and your family. I love you so much. I wish I was there to give you a big hug but know that I am here if you need anything. Hugs!

Trav and Britt said...

i'm so sorry for you kristin....and for your family. it doesn't feel so long ago that i was feeling a lot like this when my mom died. i wish it didn't have to happen, i don't think there is anything worse than losing someone so close. time mends and the good memories will help you through. hang in there.

Madsen Updates said...

Made me tear up! What a sweet relationship you two have! How sweet is it that she was re-united with her hubby on his anniversary!! What a sweet love story that is! I've been thinking about you since I heard, hope you are doing ok!!

Ashley said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your grandma! That was such a sweet tribute to her. ***Hugs from me*** And thank you for the reminder about cherishing every moment we can get with our loved ones... I know I need to make more effort to cherish these times with my grandma too. Sure Miss You!

Broadhead Family said...

Oh Kristin! I am so glad I got to see you tonight! I love you so much and good luck with the funeral. Call me when you get back. love ya

Broadhead Family said...

Kristin, I am so glad I got to see you tonight. I love you so much! Good luck with the funeral. Call me when you get back. Love ya

Sonny said...

That was well said. She was an amazing person and I am so glad we have her and your grandpa as examples of what kind of grandparents we need to be. i love you sweet heart.

debbie joy said...

Kristin, what a wonderful tribute to a wonderful lady!! You were so loved by her. She admired you and called you an old soul sent here to be part of her life. She was so grateful for the close relationship the two of you had. I am so proud of you and the way you always were around her and Grandpa. I constantly learn from you how to be a better person. I am so blessed to be your mom but I know that we are really eternal sisters!! Love you

Dana said...

Gosh, I have been meaning to comment since the day you posted first on facebook. Oh how I cried for you that day because I know how much you love your grandma. I must say, though, how sweet it is to hear that your grandma passed away 5 years after your grandpa. I thought about that all day. That type of thing seems to happen alot and I think it is no coincidence, just something special for the ones who really really loved each other. I hope all went well and that your sweet dad is doing well. Thanks for sharing. Love you!