April 6, 2007

The Background Music is in a Minor Key

In the middle of all the job and gift drama, I've carried two tragic scenes in my mind.

On Saturday, while taking a ski break, my phone rang. It was one of Mom's sisters, Aunt Trust. My Grandmother had a major stroke. Though her body survived the stroke, her brain did not. All this week in the background, I've known that my Grandmother is being allowed to die. She never wanted tubes or artificial life support and after the stroke, she couldn't swallow. On Tuesday they removed the IV tube and over the next 10 days she will die. In many ways, I never knew my Grandmother. In the middle of a large family full of strong personalities, she usually just watched and smiled. She was always ready with a big hug and loved to have her family around her, but it was rare among 27 cousins to get one-on-one time with her. I remember seeing the hair salon she had in her house in Sylvan Grove, KS. On many levels, her life was brutally hard, but the main thing that I experienced from her was joy.


Monday morning I woke at 3 am. Jrex also woke up. We prayed for the usual suspects and even the future in-laws of one of my best friends. At 4 am, I was still wide-awake. I couldn't stop thinking about Snickollet. So I got up, checked her blog, and decided to call her. No, I don't have phone numbers for all my blog friends. Last summer we met up in Boston during a six-hour layover from my Ireland trip. At the time she was ready to burst with her twins, radiant and fun. I still had her number in my cell phone.

4 AM here is 7 AM there. I'm so glad she decided to pick up the phone. Mostly we swapped 'gallows humor' stories. We both find amusement in some very odd places. For me, it was when my Mom was dying. She had a tube coming out of her nose that drained anything she put in her stomach. Despite that, she still liked the sensation of eating and drinking; one of her favorite drinks was Ensure. It comes in strawberry flavor (and color). Mom had a constant stream of people that wanted to come by and say farewell. She'd laugh and chat and make them feel at home. Then she'd drink her Ensure. And it would come out the nose tube. Red. The visitors clearly began to freak out as my Mom kept chatting away. I laughed every time.

For Snickollet it was when she took her husband in to the hospital ER and one of the docs asked him, "Aside from your pancreatic cancer, how's your health?"

The tragic news is, it's not good. I've never met this man, but I feel like one of my friends is dying.


Rachel said...

Yes, I know what you mean. I can't stop thinking about Snickollet either. I'm glad you were able to call her.

Inkling said...

I'm there with you. I found her through your blog, and this past week have not been able to get her and GH and their babies out of my mind. I have never wished I could do something to help them escape this so much. Now, it just seems like all I can do is plead with God.

Snickollet said...

Your post brought tears to my eyes. I'm so glad you called the other day. I'm so grateful for all of the prayers and good thoughts.

I wish all of you could meet GH. There's nothing I can say to describe what a wonderful friend and husband he is.

OTRgirl, I'm so sorry about your grandmother.

scarp said...

Grandparents are funny that way - such an important part of the family, and yet often unkown in many ways....
I'm so sorry to hear about your grandmother.

Aimee said...

I found her blog through yours as well and I've been thinking of this family so much. My heart just aches for them all. It's so unfair.

They both sound like wonderful people whom I'd like to meet.

Wishing you well... I understand how you feel about your grandmother, as I feel/felt that way with my grandfather.

There is never enough time.

Anonymous said...

ditto OTR girl, I've got her and her family on my mind as well...I'm sorry about your grandmother as well.

The humor we found during my dad's time in hospice was much the same.

lots of love to you and JRex.


Anonymous said...

wow, sorry I forgot to call you on sunday, looks like a lot happened since we last talked. Congrats on the new job. Sorry for the news about your grandmother.
Tomorrow is my 'procedure' so any prayers are appreciated. Maybe we can talk this weekend or you can e-mail me at my other e-mail me at
jaf at mylastnameftp dot com