Saturday, April 3, 2010

Memories Make the Pain Okay

In the past, the condition of my grandmother was pretty uncertain.  She's been in and out of the hospital since August and even spent a month in a nursing home/rehab facility.  One day, the doctors said they were doing much better.  A few days later, they said things were going downhill and that she didn't have much longer.  In February, she was given 3 more months.  Not too long ago, nurses said she wasn't "far enough along" to go to hospice.  Yesterday, she was given a week left to live...if that.

I've always been uncertain about how long my grandmother had to live, and to be honest I thought that she was going to die months ago.  And though I never had hope that her condition would get better, but I never thought she'd get so bad so fast that she wouldn't make it until the end of April.  When I heard from my mom that she had about a week left, I realized that there was no escaping the reality of the situation.  My grandmother is dying, and it's going to happen sooner than I thought.  If I could spent every single day at her bed side, I would.  But I can't.  And that's one of the hardest things for me to deal with.  So tomorrow on Easter I will be going to visit her, just like I've done on every single holiday since August.

During the luminaria ceremony at Relay for Life, I took time to reflect on all of the amazing memories I had with my grandmother.  There were so many of them that they all flooded my mind at once, and it was hard to get a grip on them all.  Lake George, New Hampshire and black forest cake, Niagra Falls, amusement parks, adventures around Staten Island, spoiling me like crazy, holidays, letting me sleep in the spare bedroom with her on Christmas so that I didn't see Santa or get scared, playing with Pop Pop's trains even when he said not to, and countless others that I can't even think about right now.

When her time comes, I won't think about all the times we visited her at the hospital or surprised her at her house when she was sick.  I'll remember the times that I mentioned above; the irreplaceable memories that made me incredibly happy.  I'm beginning to see how important memories and pictures can be, especially when someone is no longer with you.  It's a hard reality to swallow, but if you remember the good times and not the bad, then the heartache and tears have value.  Memories make the pain okay.

It's hard to even imagine a world without her.  She's not even dead yet and it's all I can think about.  I may not have always shown it, but I love my grandmother.  It's hard to say what's killing her, the cancer or the complications, but regardless, I will continue to fight for a cure.

I love you Grandma Kiki <3

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