I miss Grandma Barbara’s smile as we open the unlocked door to her house to greet her every visit. I miss the taste of the divine food she would cook for us. I miss the days we would get halfway through with dinner and the smoke detector would go off because she had burnt the rolls. Then someone would have to wave a towel in front of the smoke detector until it stopped beeping. Naturally the rolls would be black.
I miss the stories that Grandma would tell about my dad as a child, about what it was like being a “Southern Belle” and marrying a poor farm boy, about myself when I was a child. I miss the stories and the songs, the meanings behind them, the memories…
I miss the love that surrounded her when she asked me how I was doing, how my husband was doing, or how my daughter was doing. I miss feeling that she loved me. I miss being her favorite grandchild.
I hurt because our conversations are now basically reduced to nothing.
I cry because all she knows how to do now is complain about how everything hurts or how she can’t sleep.
My heart feels like it’s going to burst because in the last three weeks I have watched as her mental capacity has diminished at an alarming rate. She is confused all the time. She can no longer hear. Her heart is failing, but it feels like her brain is too.
My heart is heavy because just a few weeks ago her husband could have chosen to make her comfortable and happy for whatever time she had left, and instead chose an aggressive treatment when she no longer wanted to fight. She lost herself in the process. He wasn’t willing to let her go.
I’m mourning Grandma Barbara and she isn’t even gone yet. Except she is. She’s gone. And I miss her.
She’s Grandma Barbara. I can see her. I can touch her. But she’s not really there.