Frozen, speechless, and shocked. The news that I had been dreading for over five years had just been told to me. She had been sick for over five years now, but the illness had been causing problems over the past couple of weeks. My dad’s soft voice told my sisters and me that our grandma, Louie, was dying. In less than twenty-four hours, my life would change forever. Sleep was not a thought to me as I tossed and turned that night knowing I would be saying goodbye to my hero the next day.
Standing in front of the hospital in the cold, January air was agonizing as I waited to enter the building. Holding my dad’s hand as I walked down the halls of multiple rooms with patients inside dying, surviving, and just simply breathing put almost everything into complete perspective. The smell of hand sanitizer and latex gloves filled my nose as I walked deeper into the hospital. Walking through the huge metal door of her hospital room was the realization of a lifetime. A surgical mask being put on my face was how I was welcomed into the room. Tubes, needles, and machines covered the room, as well as my family. Anxiety filled my body as I witnessed the looks of despair and loss on the faces of the people that I love the most. Finally, gaining the courage I needed, I looked over to her hospital bed.
Hooked up to machines and sleeping, she had never looked more beautiful. The sight of her bringing tears to my eyes is all I could feel in that moment. Dragging my feet, I walked over to her ever so slowly. Softly, I touched her hand and squeezed knowing that moment was one of our last together. The sounds of “Sting”, her favorite singer, was playing through the entire room making everyone feel somewhat at ease. Time seemed to stop when the priest entered the room. He was our sign that meant it was time for us to prepare our goodbyes. Witnessing the blessing being given to her caused me to let go of everything. I realized that there was no reason to hide my emotions, so I began to cry. Thinking of every memory that we had shared began flowing through my mind at lightning speed.
“Amazing Grace” began flowing out of the priest’s mouth as he sang above her. Holding my sisters in my arms through the whole song is what kept me together. As the song ended, we began singing “Happy Birthday” to her since her birthday was the following day. Anxiety began creeping up again as the time of goodbye was coming faster and faster. A squeaking noise from the door drew my attention to the side of me. The doctor was standing there letting us know that the time had come. Deciding to stay in the room began eating at me as she was being taken off of the machine. After fifteen minutes, the beeping noise filled the room. In that moment, I knew that God had taken her back home.
Walking out of the room with my family seemed to be the start of a journey that we would all have to get through together. Step by step out of the hospital I squeezed my dad’s hand tighter and tighter trying not to be angry. Feeling her presence next to me, as my new guardian angel, relieved me of some of the pain I was feeling. Knowing she would be there with me till the very end is what made me realize that saying “goodbye” was never an option, it was always a “see you later.”