Wednesday, December 9, 2015

December 3rd

The days leading up to Thanksgiving and the days that followed were extremely emotional ones...the holidays alone are always a more sensitive time for me, but this year has been the most challenging. A year ago, these were the days the cancer was taking over my grandma, the days she decided she didn't want to fight it anymore...the days I was trying to figure out how to get home to her. I was blessed by so many through Go Fund Me...something my sister set up to get our car fixed...those donors were my guardian angels. My husband was just days away from deploying, so I was struggling with wanting to spend as much time with him and wanting to make my way to Oklahoma. We were told that grandma had a few months left at least...but looking back now, I truly believe that Grandma was going to go when she wanted to go. Grandma was like that...when she got an idea in her head or started a project or task, she was full steam ahead...get it done now now now! I wish I had realized this on my drive to Oklahoma...instead I was angry at her for giving up the treatment. I was on the phone with my sister the day I started my trip, and Grandma shouted in the background for me to hurry...I snapped back to my sister, "What? Does she plan on dying as soon as I say hello?!" I was so frustrated and determined to change her mind to keep fighting when I arrived. I should have known. She and I were always going back and forth; she'd say, "Listen to grandma," and I would say, "I was right, wasn't I, grandma?" We'd smile and tease each other...our bantering was always full of love...sometimes I would say, "Ok, grandma, I should have listened to you," and sometimes she would say, "Yes, Amy, you were right." You can read about my last few moments with her in this post. It's been a year, but to read and relive it again feels like fresh grief. She did what I had snapped about though...Grandma and I only had a few moments together before she passed...

Yesterday was a year since her funeral. None of us were able to speak about her then...our grief and sorrow were too much. The pain and ache of losing her will always be a part of me...but now I can say the things I wish I had said then. Grandma was tough and stubborn...she could be hard and abrupt and downright bitchy! Hey, all of the women in our family can be bitchy judgement! She was smart and quick and feisty...she could get under a car with grandpa to help work on it, and she could make homemade noodles and cherry pies. She'd tear down a wall if she wanted and she'd cry telling stories about her sisters. She was an artist and incredibly talented with oil paints; she used to draw paper dolls for us when we were little. Grandma was loving and giving...she was brave and determined. We laughed a lot and and had so many inside jokes :) She loved her family. She was another mother to me, a teacher, and an inspiration. I miss talking (and complaining about) OU football with her...her voice and her hugs...going out to eat together...just...everything...

I brought one of her shirts home with me when I left Oklahoma, and I often hold it close and imagine hugging her. I've got it downstairs draped over the couch right now...she feels close :) I still speak aloud to her and even sing her favorite songs now and then...

I've been back to work recently, and I was able to write this without totally losing myself into a sobbing mess. I'm going to watch (and share) a video of her soon where she's teaching us how to make her noodles, and I plan on attempting that cooking adventure! I will always have tears for Grandma and I will always feel heart ache for her absence...but one thing I know for certain...she is always with me and I can feel her in my heart!

Special shout out to my friend, Stephany, for bringing me food and a sweet card on the 3rd, and for looking out for me during these past couple of weeks; it has meant so much, my friend. Treasure your family and friends, dear readers...don't ever take them for granted!

Hugs and love, my lovelies!

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