Work has been extra busy for the holiday and per usual, I’m stressed. I recently got back from Michigan for the Detroit Urban Craft Fair and I have my last show of the year (Renegade LA) this weekend. I’m thankful that there is a light at the end of this tunnel because honestly, I could use a break before Valentine’s Day mania.
So there’s that. I’m stressed from work. But that’s not what I need to talk about. I need to talk about my Gramps. I need to type it all out there so that I always remember.
I saw him while I was home. My mom, grandma and I went to the nursing home. I was nervous. I had heard the stories from my mom…about how he couldn’t talk anymore, how he rarely opens his eyes, how he chokes often. How he is miserable and tired.
I knew it would be hard to see. I thought that I could hold my emotions in at least until I got into the car to leave.
Nope. I lost it twice.
The four of us were sitting together, though the conversation was only between my mom, Granny, and me. My Gramps can hear and understand everything we are saying, but he can no longer talk because of the disease. Occasionally he would start choking and I’d rub his back and say “It’s ok Gramps.”
In an attempt to lighten the somber mood I mentioned the fact that I saw his family pictures hanging in his room, and joked that I made sure I was in them, that I was represented. My Mom said “He told me to make sure he doesn’t forget you.”
That’s when the tears started. I struggled to keep my composure but once my Granny started to tear up at the sight of me I had to get up and walk away. I went to the window and stared at the snowy grass, wiping my tears with my gloves.
Quickly after I settled down it was time to say goodbye and I knew it wasn’t the end of my tears. My Gramps put his hand up to my cheek, and I put my hand on top of his. “I love you” I said. “I love you.”
It was the perfect ending to my visit with him because it really conveyed everything I was feeling in that moment. And I know he felt it too.
Every time I think of this moment now, I cry. I wonder if it’s the last time I will see him. And more than anything I just hurt for him. I want him to be free of suffering. To be in peace. And if that happens soon, I will know that the last moment I had with him was incredibly special.