I had originally planned to post a recipe today, but it’s been a really tough week. I received a call from my dad on Sunday that my grandmother on my dad’s side of the family wasn’t feeling well (some congestion and a cough), and that my grandfather was concerned and needed support. My dad and my brother quickly made plans to drive up to New Hampshire and see them, but since my grandparents live in assisted living and we hadn’t received a call from the staff there, we weren’t overly concerned.
Over the next 24 hours, my grandmother’s condition rapidly deteriorated. It became apparent that she wasn’t sick – at 90-years-old, her body was simply shutting down. Her heart and kidneys had been slowly failing for a while, and several months ago, she and my grandfather (with the guidance of her doctor), decided to switch to hospice care. No more uncomfortable hospital beds, tests, and treatments. She wanted to be in her home.
Aaron, my mom, and I drove to New Hampshire on Tuesday, and the reality of the situation hit us in full force. She was just barely there. It took every ounce of her energy to open her eyes and speak, but she managed to tell us how happy she was to be surrounded by family and said she appreciated that we weren’t afraid to show her our love.
There were nurses in and out of her room every few minutes, making sure she was comfortable and answering our questions. It takes an incredible sort of person to do that type of work, and they managed to keep a calm, positive energy, despite the circumstances. The only time I saw one of them start to crumble was when my grandfather asked if they thought my grandmother would make it another month.
My grandmother managed to hang on until my uncle arrived from Florida that night, and she passed away the following day, peacefully, without pain, and surrounded by family. That’s really the best any of us can hope for.
She was one of those people who had the ability to make anyone feel at ease, and was such a warm and loving presence in my family and for those around her. She was unconditionally generous and beautiful, and she will be sorely missed.