My grandparents were together F.O.R.E.V.E.R!
I think when my Grandpa passed, in September 2004 (5 weeks after Dad), they had been together over 50 years. It was not the first marriage for my Grandpa, who was a handsome devil in his day. But those two LOVED each other so very much!!
Every day, until he slipped into his coma at 92, Grandpa would write a letter to my Grandma. Whether it was a quick note on a sticky note, or an elaborate love letter, he always wrote a letter to "Butch" (his nickname for her). Sometimes she would take the letters out and show me the stacks and stacks. She saved every last one.
Grandma was actually my Dad's "step"-mom, although she adopted him when he was well into his adulthood. I know, from what I hear, Dad and his folks didn't always have the BEST relationship, but in the years I remember, they always got along just fine.
They grew closer after my aunt passed, about 20 years ago. When Dad got sick, with his Leukemia, they got even closer still. I think in the last couple years of his life, Dad called them every day.
When Dad died, it did more to Grandpa than we all anticipated. He was devastated. He was 92, and had out-lived both his children. The grief was too much for him, he lost his will, and passed so quickly later. Leaving Grandma, 89 at the time, alone. Grandma was so frail at the time already, and having issues, that the caregivers didn't really anticipate her lasting more than six months.
Fast forward 3 1/2 years. Yep, you guessed it. Grandma, who is now 93, is still with us. Better yet? Up until a month ago she lived all by herself in Washington. We had caregivers going in every day, but she lived there alone. With Grandpa and Dad now gone, Mom tried to get Grandma to come live with her down here in California. "Absolutely NOT!" Grandma exclaimed. "If you can live by yourself, then I can live by myself."
Well, now Grandma has lost her will to some extent. She took a fall about a month ago and has been in care ever since. She has her requests of no IV's, or anything, and has decided she is "done". She's tired.
The selfish side of me wants to tell her not to give up, but that stays where it is...far into the small selfish side of me. How could I possibly try to convince her not to? She's 93, has had a wonderfully full life, a wonderful loving relationship, and was always the happiest woman I know.
No, it's not my place to tell this magnificent woman when it is her time.
My role now is to help Mom with the pieces. My amazing mother who calls Grandma every day, spends weeks at a time with her as often as possible, and has shared so much with her. My Mom, who is approaching her own anniversary of what would be 51 years with Dad in a couple weeks, is making arrangements for the last Brundage she's had to care for.
Some of you readers think Grandy's kinda cool? These two ladies put me to shame!!
So, will it be a sad thing to see her go? It is what she wants. I am so proud of her for taking care of herself for this long but, how could I not miss her?
I just wish... oh how I wish... I could just say good-bye.
When it's time.