May 29th -- One Year Later

On May 27, 2014 I received a call that my Grandmother was care-flighted to Miami Valley Hospital because she had major head trauma from being the passenger in a car that failed to yield at an intersection.

The driver of the car, didn't have on his seatbelt and when the car was struck broadside, he flew out of his chair and slammed against Grandma, her head going out the passenger window.  Grandma had a huge bruise on the side of her face where the driver's head hit hers.

When I got to the hospital I didn't know what to expect.  My Grandma, the woman I loved for 57 years, and who loved me so intensely was laying in a coma-like state.  I didn't know then that I would never see her open her eyes, I would never hear her voice, her laugh, I would never be able to take her out for a trip or go visit her.

It was horrible to sit by her side, unable to help her, wanting so much for her to open her eyes, and being powerless to do anything.  We played some of her favorite songs, we caressed her arms, we spoke quietly to her, letting her know how much we loved her.

For two days I watched my Grandmother’s struggle for life. Grandma hated to vomit. The tube they had placed in her stomach wasn’t positioned correctly and Grandma would vomit off and on for at least 20 hours. Each time this would happen she would moan and groan. Those sounds will remain with me for the rest of my life.

Every time a nurse would reposition my Grandma in bed, my Grandma would moan and her face would screw up in pain, and at times a tiny tear would escape her left eye. And all we could do is sit there, speak quietly to her, stroke her hand and tell her we loved her.

And then the tremors began on her left side. Can you even imagine what that felt like to watch your Grandma, the woman who has loved you unconditionally for 57 years, suffer?

My sister, her wife and I were by Grandma’s side as she passed on May 29th.  That process will however live in my memory. Watching my sister speak sweetly to Grandma, stroking Grandma’s arm as she began her transition while I rubbed her leg, our tears raining down on Grandma, our love pouring out on her – this moment will never be forgotten.

Now my sister and I visit her grave each month, replacing the flowers we bring, while standing in shock looking down at her tombstone.  

God, how I miss this woman!!  This woman was such a kind and gentle soul.  She had that ability to make you feel so special.  She believed in God, read her Bible scriptures and her Daily Bread every morning.   Her hands were always busy making things for other people.  She had a hard life.  She was a Mother at 13.  She survived an abusive marriage.  Her younger son caused so much heartache in her life by his criminal activity.  But she always went on, loving those around her.  She was a strong woman.  

I hope Grandma has found peace.  I hope she knows how much her life affected those around her.  I hope she knows how much she was loved.  

One year later and I still miss her.  I'm not sure how long this grieving process takes.  But the pain of her loss from my life is still there always lurking in the shadows.  Olive Mae Custer was one of the most important person in my life.  I'll forever miss her.


Anonymous said…
I know does not seem to get any easier..
Remembering Grandma today....Mom and I are going later after lunch to see how Mr Utz has fixed up her house.
Love you!
Jackie said…
Angie....It doesn't seem like a year since your dear Grandmother passed.
I send you a gentle hug....
I know how much you love her.
Jackie (Teacher's Pet)

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