A couple of weeks ago, as I was fast asleep in the middle of the night, I received a phone call from my mom.
She called to notify me that my grandma, her mom, had two major strokes and was in a coma. From that point forward, people from all over the country -- Wyoming, Tennessee, Illinois and Colorado -- descended upon a small hospital room in Colorado Springs to try to persuade my grandma to survive.
As I sat there with my family at my side, I witnessed my mom starting to fall apart from the inside out. I saw her struggle with her feelings, struggle to find words, struggle to cope with what seemed inevitable -- the death of her mother.
I don't want to say that the shift occurred from my mother taking care of me to me taking care of my mother, but the feeling was definitely there. What can I do for my mom, what can I do to make my mom not hurt so much? Needless to say, it was uncomfortable. I was sad that my grandmother was ill. The chances she would survive were slim, but my focus was helping my mom cope with that reality.
She was hurting deeply.
My sister and brother made arrangements for my mom not to be alone in Colorado Springs, left to deal with pending death of her mother without one of us close by. I left after my sister arrived to support my mom on Monday afternoon. Shortly after I arrived back in Craig, I received a phone call informing me that my grandmother had passed on.
I continue to visit with my mom now, a week and half after my grandmother's death, and listen to her thoughts and feelings about her mother and the sadness this has brought to her. I will continue to try to support my mom as she grieves. I just wish I had something to take away her hurt.
I know that Father's Day is right around the corner, and I look forward to the wonderful things that my children will give me and cute things they will say.
But this year it is even more evident to me how much I need to honor my parents -- not just because they have had a couple of rough weeks, but because they are my parents. I hope that I can let them know what they mean to me and what they mean to my children. I hope I can always be there when they need me.
Mom, take care, take solace in that Grandma is in a better place.
Grandma, rest in peace. You will be greatly missed.