On Monday I found out that my great grandmother passed away.
This particular grandmother was my mother's grandmother, and although I didn't know her all that well, I still knew her.
Knew her enough to feel The Sad.
The Sad is the same kind of sorrow that I feel whenever someone I love passes, no matter the relationship. Sometimes it's stronger than others, but the general feeling is always the same.
It's that gripping feeling in your stomach, and that instantaneous drop of the heart when your mind finally processes what you've just been told, and time seems to freeze for a beat or two.
This person is no longer on this Earth, and you'll never see them again as long as you live.
It can best be described as a feeling of disbelief.
A concept that takes days, months, sometimes even years to grasp.
Her death brought about memories of when my great grandmother on my father's side passed away about a year ago, a memory that is still so fresh. A woman that I had been close to most of my life, who I even counted as my best friend in my younger years. She was my favorite playmate and had imagination as vivid as a child's. Luckily for me, she lived around the corner from our house, and mom took me there nearly every day to play.
Grandma walked with a waddle, spoke with a thick Hawaiian accent, and had a God given gift to make people laugh no matter the situation. However, she also had the feistiest temper I've ever seen.
She was one of those people that you hoped with all of your heart to be like when you were in your elder ages.
Every night, even as a little girl, I asked God to keep her alive long enough to at least see me graduate high school and make it into College. I wanted to make Grandma proud.
Although uneducated, in her time, it was an accomplishment to make it into middle school. Which she did, and often bragged that she made it "all the way to the sixth grade." But her dream for me was to go to college, and graduate with a Bachelor's degree like my great aunt did.
Into my high school years Grandma started getting sick, and then began having slight heart attacks. Then it turned into mild strokes, and later, signs of Alzheimer's Disease.
It got to the point where an ambulance came to get her at least once a week.
This was a scary time.
Eventually, we had to no choice but to move her to an elderly home where she could be monitored daily.
A place she could be safe.
Years passed, and her memory of us faded more and more.
She faded more and more.
When we would visit, she wouldn't remember my parents, but whenever she saw myself or my brother, her eyes lit up and a cascading smile spread across her face. Although she could no longer talk because of the damage done by one of her strokes, she would still express herself with that bright smile and the squeezing of our hands and cheeks.
Then one particular day, one that I don't think I'll ever forget, my dad and I visited one last time.
When we entered into her room, there was grandma, lieing on her bed.
No recognition ignited her eyes, no bright smile across her face.
Her once bright blue eyes were now cold and deep, almost like you could see into her very soul.
A soul that was tired.
But these eyes never left mine. They looked at me with such a compassionate desire to remember, but not enough energy to try.
I remember not being able to look away, yet a fear gripped me, a peril that took my breath away.
This wasn't my grandmother, I didn't know who this was.
Her straight, gray hair was scattered around her head on the pillow beneath her, and the lively face that I always remembered was now sunken in; almost skeleton like.
I felt like I was staring back into the eyes of the deceased.
This is when I knew. I knew it would be soon.
On April 12, 2009, Easter morning, I had a dream that I went into my great aunt's backyard and saw my great uncle, who actually had passed away six months earlier, smiling and cleaning the figure-eight-shaped pool. On the other side of the pool was a big screen TV that was playing supposed memories from my past, involving that particular uncle and my great grandmother. On the other side of the pool, sitting in a lawn chair and watching the TV was my great grandmother, and she was laughing at the various memories that were playing on the screen. I walked over to grandma and sat down next to her.
She looked at me and told me that she had go.
I remember feeling upset, and begging her to stay and watch more memories with me.
But she didn't. She needed to leave.
I was awaken by my mom getting into bed next to me. When I opened my eyes, She looked at me, eyes hesitant. Eventually she spoke, "Grandma passed away this morning."
The Sad crept in.
"Yes, the nurses went in to check on her and she just wasn't breathing anymore."
I remembered my last visit with grandma, and also of the dream that I had had that night.
I told her about it, and she was stunned.
To this day we both think that God had used the dream to prepare me for the news that I would be receiving that morning.
I'd like to think so. That seems like such a sweet, gentle gesture.
My grandma Eva... Born on July 4th, 1915, and going home on April 12, 2009, Easter morning.
I think that just goes to show how special she was.
As for mom's grandma, reality still hasn't fully hit me yet.
At the moment, I don't feel anything regaurding her death.
I'm still living amongst those numbing frozen moments in time.
I speculate that realization will strike once we attend her funeral, when it emotionally becomes final. Official. Truth.
Then? Then I will feel.
Sincerely, Yours Truly
P.S. As for my prayer? Grandma Eva passed away during my sophomore year of college. She got to see me graduate, and even make it through two years of higher education.
& She was exceedingly proud of her great granddaughter.
Thank you Lord for allowing me that special, special wish.