Monday, May 16, 2011

Guardian Angel-A tribute to my Grandma

Gianna has one more guardian angel up in heaven. My sweet Grandma passed away this past Friday. While I'm sad she's gone I am also relieved. I hate to see people suffer. My Grandma has always had a lot of health problems. This woman has survived 5 heart attacks, 3 open heart surgeries and a few other heart procedures. A few years ago after her last heart procedure, she signed the Do Not Resuscitate order. She did not want to go through this all again. Nor did she ever want to be put in a nursing home, assisted living or a hospice. She wanted to die in her own home. When she was placed in the hospice, she was still conscious and agreed to go. She was in so much pain she knew it was her best option. They had thought they could get her pain under control and then send her back home to spend her last few days.

She was placed into a hospice on Thursday May 5th and by that Tuesday she was unresponsive. By Thursday May 12th her breathing changed and the end was near. That night mom held up the phone to Grandma's ear for me to say goodbye. Friday morning she was gone. Like I said I am grateful and glad that her suffering is over and that she is in a much better place. What makes me happiest is the fact that she is now reunited with my grandpa, who she loved greatly.

I think Grandma lost her will to live when my Grandpa passed away in October of 2007. He died very suddenly and unexpectedly and we were all hit very hard. Seeing him in the hospital talking one day and then wilting away for two weeks before passing was heartbreaking. Grandma was devestated. This was a man with minor health problems, gone before we knew it. And you talk about a couple who meant everything to each other. Grandpa did everything for Grandma. All the cooking, cleaning, driving, etc. Don't get me wrong. My grandpa had to retire early due to a work related injury and when that happened my grandma went to work to support him and the kids. But as they were older my Gramps did everything for her and she was lost without him. This past summer when I came to visit we looked through photo albums of her and my grandpa. Talking about him still brought tears to her eye and to this day she still wore his wedding ring around his neck.

These two were such a fun loving couple. When my parent's were growing up they threw fun costume parties, had family get togethers all the time and were amazing grandparent's to my brother and I. They spoiled us rotten. I am so lucky to have had both of them in my life. And heartbroken that they are gone. I am sad Gianna will never get a chance to meet either of them. But I know they are reunited and looking down on her and I.

Tomorrow will be the month mark since I last saw my Grandma. I'm so glad we had that time together. She made it to my baby shower and I made sure to visit her the day before I headed back to NC. We talked about the audio book she was listening to on her audio recorder and how the people in her apartment community were getting together to play WII bowling. Something she used to do before her eyesight got bad. Although she looked better than she had been, somehow I knew this would be the last time I saw her. I remember wandering around her apartment fighting back tears as this wave of sadness overcame me. I had to give her multiple hugs and kissed before leaving as if to say goodbye and to show her how much I loved her. I never thought it would happen this fast. I talked to her a week before she ended up in the hospice and she sounded fine. Better than fine. But now she's gone.

She knew too that she would never see Gianna. She used to tell my mom she would see her from heaven and when she started to get sick in February she said she wanted to at least make it to my baby shower. She did make it and her gift to Gianna was a beautiful handmade beaded cross. She had her neighbor make this pink and white cross for Gianna's room. It is something I will always treasure. I am so grateful to have such an amazing remembrance of my grandma. I will be placing that above Gianna's crib and telling her all about her great grandma, her guardian angel who loved her so much already.

Tomorrow is also my Grandma's funeral. I am not able to make it home. Ticket prices were beyond crazy and my parent's said Grandma would never want me to fly this far along in my pregnancy. So while I know I will always feel guilty about not being there, regret not spending more time with her in the past and hate having lived so far away from her for the last 3 years, I am glad that I will have positive memories of her to remember herself by. I can hear her now, once she knew it was me on the phone answering with her usual Hello Dolly, how are you? Something in which I never hope to forget.
To my Grandma, I love you so much and miss you terribly. But give Gramps a hug and kiss for me and be sure to look in on us from time to time.

Here are some pics of my Grandma and I
At my cousin's wedding-October 2007-right before we lost Grandpa

Grandma and I at my wedding shower-April 2008

Grandma and our wedding April 2008

Another wedding pic

Visiting Grandma this summer-August 2010

My absolute favorite

This post was so hard to write. Thanks again everyone for all your kind words and prayers. Remember life is short so call someone you haven't talked to in awhile, give those you love a hug and a kiss and live life to the fullest. DOn't take those around you for granted


  1. Such a sweet and wonderful post! You and your family are still in my thoughts and prayers.

  2. I am so sorry to hear this. I know it is hard, but I hope you are comforted by your memories of your sweet Grandma!

  3. I'm glad you have such good memories of her.

  4. I'm very sorry to hear about this, but I'm glad she's out of pain.

    I'm so happy you have such fond memories of her, and were able to spend time with her so recently.

    Not only does Gianna have another guardian angel, but so do you ♥

  5. This post was a beautiful tribute. I am so sorry for your loss.