The holidays are often a busy time for my family, as you may have noticed I had taken a bit of a break. It was my plan to continue my story within the new year. Unfortunately as the new year approached, tragedy struck my family.
I made a surprise trip to Florida on January 1st so that I could comfort my grandmother during her passing and be there for my grandfather.
To be honest, I’m really not sure what I was expecting. I received a phone call on Wednesday, December 30th from my grandfather informing me that Grandma was in Hospice. I immediately broke down, for as we all know, Hospice means little to no recovery.
He allowed me to speak to her and I tearily told her that I loved her and I missed her and that I would do everything in my power to get to her. She told me she loved me and was proud of me and then as she became emotional my grandfather took the phone.
You see, if you’ve been reading my story so far you probably have realized by now that my Grandparents have been a big part of my life. They have been the only stable home I have ever known. Their numbers have been the same since I was born, their address, their personalities. They are my rock. It’s like life is a game of Tag and every so often I need to go to their house so that I can touch Base and recenter myself.
After the phone call I immediately pulled myself together and began searching for plane tickets. Honestly, if my husband’s father had not sent us an incredibly generous Christmas gift we never would have afforded it. As it was, I literally spent every dime we had except 50cents to make it to Florida in time to see her.
I love to fly. I really do. Something about airports and the way the plane zooms across the country. The views are always incredible, and while it may not be the most comfortable, it’s an experience I am not ready to give up. Despite the bitter reason for my trip, I couldn’t help but get swept away in the atmosphere. I had a four-hour layover in Dallas, plenty of time to people watch.
Honestly the best part of my trip down was in the Dallas/Fort Worth airport. A father and his little girl were waiting on their plane, which was delayed over an hour, and she must have been overly bored because her and I made eye contact and then next thing I know she is standing next to me, petting my blue and purple hair and telling me all about her life. She was literally so cute and was a nice little ray of sunshine on a day that I was surrounded by so many clouds.
I didn’t even make it into PBI until midnight that night. I was really nervous at first, my mother had said her and a family friend and my grandfather AND my brother were all coming to get me. I don’t do well with being really stressed and dealing with new situations and people I haven’t seen in awhile, so my anxiety was incredibly high. Plus, my focus wasn’t to comfort the living at the time, but to rush to my grandmother side so that I could spend as much time with her as possible.
Like usual I stressed for nothing, my mother and our family friend were missed, so as soon as I saw them it was like no time had passed. And instead of immediately bawling, like I really wanted to, I forced myself to put a smile on and to be a big girl and face the situation head on. Plus, I HATE crying in front of people.
My grandfather pulled up with the truck and my little brother in back. He was a mess, so I immediately climbed in and began the task of comforting those around me. For grandpa, I know my mere presence calmed him. Mom just needed a hug, I hadn’t seen our incredible friend in years and she was there more to support us, and my brother needed a peer’s shoulder to cry on. We were both losing the same person to us, so I guess it’s something we can share in common.
I am so thankful that Hospice is a 24 hour thing. I insisted that we immediately go to the hospital so that I could touch base with Grandma. But once we got there, I realized very quickly I couldn’t leave.
**Due to how honestly emotionally taxing this was, I will be splitting this post into a couple of different ones. I already know the impact this experience has had on my life and on me as a person, so I want to ensure that I do this justice and express my experiences in the best way possible**