Devastated

October 30, 2009
By
More by this author
The tiny infant in the rosy red dress had her hand grasped around the age-worn thumb. Her young green eyes sparkled with gold flecks and her small inky ringlets danced around her chubby baby face. The grandmother held the little girl and rocked her gently. She had a countenance of warmth and pure bliss upon her face as she smiled a pretty smile and fawned on her own personal angel.

I was thinking about this picture that had been snapped almost sixteen years ago as I followed the woman in scrubs down the freezing white hallway. The reality of my grandma being in the hospital hadn’t hit me yet. I was told that something was wrong with her lungs, but I knew the good doctors would fix her up and she’d be back to chasing me around with her slippers, ready to “swap me good in the behind” in no time. I followed behind the nurse with my head down seeing glimpses of the pink doors I was passing.

When we reached the right room and the nurse opened the door a violent buffet targeted at my gut shook me. There she was. My heart plummeted to the hard floor the second I saw my grandma. She lay on the flimsy bed, broken and shriveled. Her wrinkled ninety-pound body was servile to the strange chords; they were yoked to every inch of her body. It vexed me the way I wanted to leave this sterile prison even though I’d only been inside for a minute, I couldn’t even be there for her. Soon I wouldn’t have much of a choice, whether I wanted to be there or not.
When she tried to open her eyes it was like they were made of led. She saw my family through the slits and slowly the lashes met again. I noticed that her chest was rising and falling faster than it was a second ago. The beeping of the heart monitor started to accelerate at a rapid pace.

I saw a few nurses blur by me in a rush. They ushered my brother and me out of the room. I grabbed his arm and we headed toward the waiting room. The walk through this same hall was different to me. The blank walls screamed curses at me and they gave of a rancid odor of sterile disappointment. We passed by an alluring exit sign that tempted me to escape this miserable place. I kept walking. I saw a familiar nurse and asked after my grandmother; she told me a load of rubbish and directed us to the waiting room.

My brother and I walked into the empty waiting room and sat in two of the stiff chairs against the far wall. We didn’t say anything much, we were too shocked by the image of our grandmother. The buzz of the news from the television was on, telling stories of disaster and death that pounded against my ears. I gave my brother a fake smile and told him I had to use the restroom and for him to go scrimmage up something to eat.

By the time I arrived at the restroom my eyes were beginning to water. I shut and locked the heavy pink door behind me and leaned against the wall. My energy had left me; I slowly slid to the floor and put my head in my hands. I didn’t burst out in tears; I’d save that for tonight in bed. Instead I just steadied my breathing and let my eyes burn with moisture and my heart twinge with devastation. After a few minutes I rose up and looked at my face in the mirror; my hair was a dark mess and my green eyes were perfectly clear from the few tears that I had let fall. I took a deep breath and went back to my brother.

My grandma didn’t pass away that night. She was moved back to her home and lived out her last summer. The day I was told she passed away I was overcome by grief and walked to a park and slid down a tree the same way I had slid down the bathroom wall that terrible night. A light breeze helped me breath. I thought of the pain she had been in that she was no longer suffering. It brought me comfort, but I still cried out all the moisture in my body. Then an image appeared in my head of a little baby girl in red being held by her loving grandmother. So I smiled, and I know that she did too.





Join the Discussion

This article has 1 comment. Post your own now!

~Dark~MidnightAngel~ said...
Dec. 10, 2009 at 6:05 pm
I feel your pain. I had to go thrue the same the same thing with my grandmother, only my grandma has alshimers. Grate story. :)
 
bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback