Grandma’s heart had been weakening for some time.
The diagnosis of congestive heart failure was no surprise, she was almost 95. But it meant that she didn’t have many days left – and we wanted to see her again.
So we planned an epic one day trip – over 300 miles one way – with my siblings, my parents, one niece and her precious baby girl.
We didn’t know what we would find. The nurses had reported that Grandma was weak and slept most of the day.
But we received a gift that day – a precious gift – the gift of time.
Grandma was alert and sat in her wheel chair with us for over 3 hours.
We had time to sit beside her, leaning in close to share some final memories.
Always soft-spoken, she had only whispers left.
We held her hand as we remembered together.
She had time to enjoy her only great, great granddaughter, laughing at her antics.
That little sweetheart was quite taken with her Great Great Grandma’s fuzzy slippers. She would lean over and rub them.
When we called them Great Great Grandma’s dancing shoes, the Little Sweetheart pointed to her own dancing shoes and she did a little dance.
Then Grandma moved her feet in a slow-motion dance of her own.
Little Sweetheart smiled and laughed.
Grandma smiled and laughed.
It was a five generation connection.
A priceless gift.
We had time for one more family photo. My parents, my siblings, the little sweetheart, and myself with Grandpa and Grandma.
One last time.
One last “I love you.”
One last goodbye as the tears that had been so close to the surface all day broke through.
That day was a gift. A precious gift.
Grandma died last night – just six days later.