I’ve written this post and re-written it about a thousand times. I think I finally figured out what I want to say. I’m leaving this unedited for a reason.
The past few weeks have been the hardest of my life. My grandmother has had 4 heart attacks back to back and a closed off artery, but is not a candidate for surgery. She was living with my mom and fell numerous times. So it was decided while I was in LA that we needed to move her to a nursing home. That devastated me. She’s a VERY proud person and that was never in the cards for her. So I did my thing, came home, dealt with the first week of school etc. 2 days after my mom had signed the papers and gotten everything situated we got a phone call Saturday morning around 5 am. You know those early morning phone calls that stop your heart. The ones where your searching for the phone, but you can’t find it. It’s somewhere on the bed, but you just keep hearing it….ringing and ringing. Then Brian’s rang. We were both half awake and I looked at him and said “It’s time, I know it.”
It was my little sister on the phone. She was crying and I could barely understand her. Instantly my “Mama Bear Instincts” kicked in. I was trying to calm her down. Thinking to myself we knew this was coming, etc. and she said to me, “NO! Your not hearing me. Mama is dead.” I kept saying, You mean grandma….Right?” Then she said, “NO! Our mother Diana Koger is dead. They need us to go identify the body.” I went numb. This wasn’t real. I was just having a bad dream. I snapped out of it and calmed her down and told her I would go and take care of the identification. I remember crying in the shower, but the 45 minute drive to Murfreesboro I don’t. Thank goodness I have such a great husband who was supporting me. He had already called his mom and had her hide the kids iphones, kindles, etc. so they wouldn’t “accidentally” see it via social media.
We walked into the hospital and I still felt numb. My husband kept offering to make the identification for me, but I was firm. I HAD to do this……I won’t get graphic, but it broke me. This wasn’t my mama. All I could do was cry and say I’m sorry.
My sister arrived in town and we went to make arrangements. That whole ordeal is another post in itself. Please make sure you have life insurance on yourself and you’ve made some final decisions. It will be easier on your children if you do. We thought everything though from flowers, to music, etc. I think she would have been happy with everything we chose.
Next up, telling my grandmother who we had just put in a nursing home. It was just myself, my sister and our husbands, but you should have seen her face light up at our visit. She was so excited to see us. You see the nursing home that she’s in is where my mom worked. So the other nurses and staff knew already. We took her into a quiet room and I took one hand while my sister took another and I had to tell my grandma that her baby was gone. It broke her heart. My mama was 1 of 4 children and the youngest. She’d been taking care of my grandmother off and on for years. I can’t imagine the pain she was going through, but I was there. Hugging, Crying, Holding her. Trying to explain what happened. The nurses came in and gave her extra oxygen and something for her nerves. After a couple of hours she had calmed down and was resting.
The hardest part of my day was yet to come. Those 45 minutes to drive back to my mother in laws were the most nerve wrecking minutes. We were literally going to break my kiddos hearts. I would have done anything….ANYTHING…to protect them from that news. You see Gabriel is the oldest grandchild. He was spoiled the most, but all the grandchildren were close. We drove up and I took a deep breath trying to compose myself. It just so happened that Isabella was outside riding her bike and saw us pull up. She immediately went into question mode…..”Why are you here?” “Is something wrong?” “What’s wrong?” “Is my Cat ok?” We had them go with us into the bedroom and I asked Brian’s mom to come in with us for back up…………We told them……….There are no words to express the pain that was in that room. We all took turns holding each other….because in the end that’s all you can do. Hold each other until the pain is a little less.
I won’t go into everything else that has happened this week, but today goodwill picked up what was left in the house. The kids are back in school. My grandmother was moved to a bigger room with a nice window. Days keep going by and today is the first day I can actually write. So, it’s true what they say. It does get easier. Thank you to all my family and friends who were there or sending msges, flowers, etc. They were rays of sunshine in my days of darkness. If you could do me a favor tonight…Hug the people in your life and tell them you love them. Give those that you can’t psychically hug a call and just have a nice conversation….even if it’s just about the weather. You’ll remember that and so will they.