Four years ago tonight, at 8:16pm, my grandma passed away. I still can't believe that it's been that long. I can still feel it like it was yesterday.
It all started July 1, 2005. We'd gotten a call from my uncle Kevin, telling us that grandma was in the hospital. She'd had a heart attack and fell and broke her hip, although they weren't sure if the fall had caused the heart attack or vice versa. Her hip was broken so badly that there wasn't a whole lot they could do, she had lain there all day until Kev had gotten home and her leg was already turning black from lack of circulation. Her other leg was turning black too, she'd already had a massive sore on it that had never healed properly and her circulation was so bad that they weren't sure if she would keep either leg.
By the next day, her left leg (the unbroken side) had swelled to twice it's size and was completely black. They had to take the leg. By the next weekend, it was clear that the other leg would have to come off, as it was doing the same. She had an infection that was making her very ill. She gave up when they took her legs, and we knew then that she'd probably never make it home.
She ended up on a vent, after the surgeries, and it was like she didn't care anymore if she came off or not. She let the vent breathe for her, after the initial fight when she woke up unsure of what all the tubes and wires were. She didn't want to live that way, and the decision was made to make her comfortable and take her off the vent, and let her spend the rest of her time with her family surrounding her.
My mom, her brothers and sis, all their kids, and my sister's kids and Gabe were all there. I'd brought the other 3 up to see her on the previous weekends that we'd been there. I'd taken Fridays and Mondays off since it happened, and we would leave Thursday after I got off work and we'd drive back down on Monday evening, so she wasn't alone.
They took her off the vent about 11am, and we all spent time talking to her about our favorite memories. We talked about grandpa, and mom and her siblings growing up. Talked about all the things that we'd always hoped she'd see. Most of all, we let her know that we loved her and that it was ok for her to go and be with grandpa.
My sisters left in the late afternoon. And my aunt and uncles followed about 7-730 or so. Mom had walked them out to the car, and grandma started slowing down. It was just me, Gabe and my brothers, so I sent them for mom, told them to hurry because I thought this might be it.
Gabe and I held her hands and he gave her kisses. I tried so hard not to cry, I wanted her to remember us happy. I told her it was ok if she couldn't wait. That mom and the other kids would understand. And, at 8:16, she closed her eyes forever with a long sigh.
Mom came in a few minutes later, running as fast as she could. She knew before she got to grandma though, and sent the boys for the nurse.
Mom told me she thought grandma waited till she left, and I know that it hurt her feelings. I think grandma was trying, but just couldn't hold on any longer.
Rest in Peace Grandma!
Mildred Mae Roberts
FEB 9 1937 - JUL 15 2005
We miss you!