I do not usually participate in Lynnette's Wednesday Walk down memory lane. But today, I decided to honor my grandmother by posting some memories of her. Today marks the 3 year anniversary of her death. I was so very very close with her my entire life. By the time I was 5, I had lived with her for more than half my life. When my mother kicked me out after graduation, I went and lived with my Nanau. And when my boyfriend and I broke up after being together for 8 years and living together for 2 years, I moved back in with her. She always had a kind word and a hug. For everyone that she met. She knew how to make you feel better. She would tell me, "It only takes a minute to call me and say, Hi Nanau. I don't have time to talk, but I wanted to say I Love You." And so, oftentimes, that is exactly what I did.
I remember the day that the call came...My Nanau had been into surgery to remove a polyp on her colon. My cousin called me later that afternoon to tell me that when they cut her open to d othe surgery, they had to immediately close her back up because her whole abdominal cavity was so riddled with cancer. I felt horrible. I was in Atlanta and she was in Dallas. What was I going to do from this far away. I did exactly what anyone else would have done (I think). I bought a 300 dollar plane ticket to go home two days later to be with her. I stayed in her house. I visited her in the ICU. I talked with her about being sick. I told her I missed her. Then I told her I loved her and I missed her and I hoped she would find a way to fight through this. I stayed for almost a week before returning to Atlanta.
She stayed in the hospital. She underwent chemotherapy. She stayed at home. She got hospice care. Finally, the day before she died, my mother called me and told me that the doctors had said they didn't think she would last through the week and that I needed to come home and see my grandmother before she died. I had to tell my mother that Nanau had made me promise not to come home and see her deathly ill. She did not want me to see her that way. She wanted me to remeber her as vibrant and healthy. I promised her. I told her that if it came down to that, I would speak my goodbyes to her and I would come to her funeral and see her in Heaven. I did just that. I had my mother put the phone by my Nanau's ear and told her I would not be coming to see her because she had asked me not to. I would love her forever and would speak to her often even after she was gone. And that I wished she would let go of this life and let go of the pain.
She fought that cancer for two years before it finally beat her. She died 2 hours after I spoke with her on the phone. I was a wreck. I didn't go to work. My boyfriend and I had only been seeing each other for a month. I asked him if he could please just come over and stay the night and hold me. He did. I left two days later for Texas and the funeral. I took Lorelli with me. My two best friends went to the funeral with me. I sat in the back between them, with my 11 month daughter in my lap. I tried to walk to the front to view the body - I almost threw up - so I never made it. I didn't cry that day. I didn't cry for months. But when I finally did cry, it was overwhelming. I blogged about it. I talked about it. I cried about it.
Today, I talk to her often. I think that I wish she could see my daughter now. The above picture is one of the very few pictures I have of Nanau with my daughter. That picture was taken when Lorelli was 2 months old. After Nanau had gone through one round of chemo. I drove to Texas and back to Georgia so that my daughter could meet her family and my friends. I am so glad that I made that trip because had I not, she never would have KNOWN her great grandmother.