The middle of August through the middle of September has been a rough ride for me and my family. A saint and pillar of strength within our tribe was hit by an unexpected and deadly heart attack. The period immediately following the attack was spent with bedside vigilance in a Phoenix-area ICU. My grandmother lay there attached to tubes and monitors; my family gathered, cried, comforted each other, and tried to make sense of what was happening.
After all, this woman had survived a sixty-year marriage with my grandfather—one spectacularly impressive life-time achievement. And she had just passed a gamut of heart fitness tests with very reassuring results. Yes, she had her physical challenges with diabetes and bouts of colitis, but overall this woman was rock solid.
While being a model of strength, Grandma was also an oasis of warmth and love. Her beautiful deep and glowing eyes held the flicker of a smile and a cheeky secret. Her fortified hugs sent the clear message of, “I love you no matter what, and I’ll never let you go.” Her family meant the world to her, but we were not always there for her. She loved us anyway and let us know it.
It was determined that she would not recover from this blow, and the next week she was moved to the Hospice of the Valley where they cared for her and made her comfortable till she passed. I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to say goodbye and be with her and family in the end moments—a real comfort during this time.
Thank you to all who have written to share your sympathy and caring for me and my family. I wish for you the opportunity to value your loved ones and find comfort in drawing your family and friends near.
First published by Inkwell Newswatch (IN)
© Julie Pierce and Julie’s Writing Portfolio, 2005-2011.