I went to see my Grandma last evening after my dentist appointment. The staff knew I was coming and had her dinner ready, piping hot, just minutes after I arrived. As I cut her food into small bites, I could feel this immense sadness way off in the distance...could almost make out it's form, like a kite that is flying so high, you can't see what color it is. If I so much as blink, it disappears. Intangible. I just can't go there right now.
We visited, played beauty shop (she was in desperate need of a hair style, which always makes her feel so much better) and when I left, she was smiling and comfy in her bed with her remote control and her pillows and her puzzle books. And it was Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune time. A good time for me to go.
During our visit, she said so matter-of-factly, "Now, my next wish is to die in my sleep."
She said it with clarity and certainty. She wasn't sad or pitiful. This is what she wants and I guess she figured I could handle it...as though making her wish heard might help make it come true.
I find that she brings things like this up at random and I guess in some ways, it's good that I am in this very neutral, detatched state, because normally, these words would crush me.
I know she is wrapping things up. I know that she hopes when she says things like, "Do you know how proud I am of you? So very proud..." that these words will be part of our last conversation.
But I can't wrap up anything. I can't say goodbye to her.
I just give her one kiss and hug from me, then one kiss and hug from Steinvic, tell her I love her and that I'll talk to her tomorrow.
I ask, "Do you want your door open or shut?" and she says, "Both." I start closing it slowly, slowly, slowly and she watches me carefully. Finally, she says, "There! That's good."
I tell her to have a good night through the small opening in the doorway. I listen as the sound of her television fades from my ears as I walk down that long corridor.
I release a giant sigh as I walk through those big heavy doors that lead into the parking lot. Just like always.