My Grandma, My Best Friend

My Grandma will be 91 on 11/05/09.  She is a strong, proud, stubborn woman.  She has lived through a lot of pain in her life and she always endured.  The death of her daughter, the death of her husband, the constant battle with her son-in-law over the well-being of my cousin after her daughters death. 

She has always been there for me when I needed her.  When my mother & father accused me of horrendous things that I never did, she stood by my side and let me cry on her shoulder. When I was a hopeless heroin addict she gave me money to bail me out of a jam.  She always believed in me.

We were smoking buddies.  The only 2 people left in our family that smoked.  We would go places together, travel together and hunt out places to light up.  Lol. 

About 10 yrs ago, she started seeing the effects of osteoporosis.  Her bones became very weak and she started getting compression fractures in her back.  She broke a hip. She had a heart attack as a direct result of this disease because of the calcium build up in the arteries in her heart.  I've watched this strong, stubborn women become a shell of her former self over the last decade.  She has been diagnosed with emphysema and congestive heart failure.  She has come to dread leaving her house, due to the pain she is in. In breaks my heart to see her this way. 

She always trusts my opinion.  When she was in the hospital being told she faces open heart surgery, she waited til I got to the hospital to ask what I thought she should do.  I asked her if she was ready to die.  She said no.  I told her to have the surgery and she did.  She was in the hospital for months.  Six weeks in the ICU.  When I think about it, the guilt still gets to me.  I feel like I told her to have the surgery for my selfish reasons because I wasn't ready to lose her. 

Lately, she has been deteriorating.  Short term memory loss, more pain, and weakness.  One day she thought she seen my grandfather in the house and asked where he went. 

I went to see her tonight and I am so very worried.  She couldn't stay awake and she seemed confused.  We got her to quit smoking several months ago after a bout with pneumonia, so during my visit while she tended to personal things, I went out to my car to smoke a cigarette.  And, I, the devout agnostic, prayed.  I asked that she be kept safe, and if her time comes to make it quick and painless as possible.  I asked that my grandfather would be with her and comfort her. 

I left with a knot in my stomach that has not left for hours now.  I am scared that I'm going to lose my best friend.  I didn't want to leave, but she needed rest. 

I am just so grateful that she seen me get clean and stay clean.  She saw me graduate college at age 40.  She is able to be proud of me.  I don't want to let her down. 

I added this experience a long time ago and never wrote anything.  Tonight, I felt compelled, drawn to it.  I needed this to be here while she is still alive even if she never reads it.  I love her so much. 




darlene darlene
41-45, F
5 Responses Oct 29, 2009

I have just read this and it really touched. so honest and truthful ! your grandma would be proud. Thank you for gracing me with this writing.

that was a good story about alot of gramams an one day l, mm going to print that because l like that an when we go back to school i,mm going to give that to my techer an she goiung to say thats worderful

Alexcia, thank you. I'm honored.

Hey RDM, thanks for commenting! My grandma later in life hated alcohol, but back when she was dating she used to tell me about the bars they would go to & drink rum & coke!

Darkstranger you are right. I try to hold the dear memories close to my heart and take what she is now at face value...she is still in there, and she has a lot of good days still.

Thanks CK. You are right. Its just so hard. I appreciate you sharing your experience.