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My Grandma Was One Amazing Woman
Today, you see, has been a tough day.
For starters, I had to face the truth that my grandma is dying.
She has been in the hospital for many months now, so long in fact that I had become too comfortable with her constant, unchanging status. She was not getting worse, and she was not getting better. I had ingrained it in my mind that she would stay this way forever, as silly as it seems now.
A few months ago, I went to visit her. She was in the emergency room and I had not witnessed her pain up until that point.
I was with my mother. We walked into the room. I heard her before I saw her: "Please, give me some food. You people don't care."
It honestly looked like she was right.
"We can't give you food until you have a room, Miss" they would say.
It didn't seem like getting my grandmother a room was exactly their priority.
We walked in and I stood by my mother and grandmother. I could not talk or move my lips, out of fear of crying.
I had never seen my grandma so pale and bitter. So sad.
She didn't acknowledge my presense for some time, until she said simply "Hi Nicole".
I saw myself at a single digit age. "Grandma's sleeping over!" I would think to myself. "We're gonna play the rhyme game and I can play with her compact!" She would walk in: "Hello Nicole!" She hugged and greeted me like I was the only person in the world.
Now she's here. In this white room, on a white bed, in a white nightgown. Her hair is even white, no longer that fluffy, butter yellow it had always been. I had always wondered how it had been so fluffy and yellow. It wasn't until years later I was told she got her hair done every week.
She could hardly move her legs anymore, I was sure she was in a bed just like this one nearly everyday now.
"Want to go for a walk down to Keyfood?" my grandma would ask. Needless to say, I eagerly obliged. So, we took out her old lady shopping cart and walked the many blocks down to the supermarket.
"Grandma, can we get this!?" I would ask with childish glee. "Of course," she would say.
My grandma was always like that. She would let me have things and would buy me things.
She would always be my patient when I played with my doctor kit, which was my absolute favorite toy as a kid.
Now she really is the patient, I think to myself.
Except this time, my dinky fake stethoscope and nurse hat can't save her.
I stand by her side. My mom tells me to give her juice. I obey, solomnly.
"They'll only give me this turkey sandwich. That's it."
Even as she's suffering, my grandma demands good food.
That was just like my grandma.
It's Christmas eve. Single digits again.
"I brought the stuffing!" My grandma says eagerly. She surveys the kitchen, which is brewing with all sorts of red sauces and meats. She is confident in her stuffing.
Another memory appears. She's turning eighty and my dad is eccentric. What a combination.
"The cake is here! Everyone! Happy Birthday to you..."
The cake is unveiled, revealing a rather unflattering picture of my grandmother completely covering the cake's surface.
"This is good cake," she says as she eats.
Now she's basically a beggar and no one in this damned hospital is listening.
I want to yell at them all. Doctors, nurses, whoever.
"Don't you see? This woman wants food. She's my grandmother! How can you be so cold?!"
But I don't say anything. I stand there, expressionless, letting my grandmother drink.
A guard approaches the three of us. Only two visitors he says softly.
I am asked to leave my grandmother.
My sick, upset grandmother.
I am asked to leave.
I consent, but I don't know why.
I sit in the waiting room.
I picked a spot by the window, where I could see outside.
There are trees and some pavement.
I hear her say as I reach the bottom of the slide.
She embraces me, I love her.
We always went to the park when I was younger.
She would sit on one of the chipping red benches while I ran around like a tiny lunatic.
She would always wear those huge, bulky prescription sunglasses that shaded all around her eyes. I thought they were silly. I told her so.
Her eyes are bloodshot and dim. She hasn't seen the outside for God knows how long now.
I survey the waiting room.
One person seems angry, the rest just indifferent.
I smile faintly at the person sitting next to me, and I am returned with a fainter smile.
That was the second to last time I saw my grandma alive.
It's unfortunate, though.
Part of me wishes the last time I saw her was when I was a tot.
When she was as lively as I. Perhaps livlier.
It's hard to believe the person I saw that day was my grandma.
I dont think it really was.
I like to think, as people pass on, their souls rise up to heaven bit by bit. At that time, most of my grandma's soul had already left.
I knew it hadn't just left, though.
It rose to heaven.
My grandma was an amazing woman.
She was full of jokes and full of laughs.
She made my sister and brother smile to no end.
Her house was the coolest house.
Spending time with her was the most fun I could ever experience when I was a kid.
She was so happy, she was so inspired, she was so...
She was my grandma.
Rather, she is my grandma and always will be.
While she will be physically gone very soon, she is always in the hearts of everyone who knew her.
My grandma was one amazing woman.
I love you grandma.