Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Déjà-Vu All Over Again

There We Go, Again

We received a notification from the airline we’re taking to get to my grandmother’s funeral that there's a winter storm advisory for Boston, MA (where we were originally scheduled to get our connecting flight) that might make it a good idea for us to change flights.  Kevin said in response to this: "If I have to, I'll just take a whole day. It's bereavement; they'll get over it!" That is my dearly beloved husband and one of the reasons I find him so hilarious and endearing.
Thankfully, after speaking to a number of not-so-helpful customer service people, Kevin was able to get our flights changed so that we are less likely to get stuck in Boston, MA on Friday.

Flashback ‘92

There are some things that I don't think need to be repeated, but they are anyway. Nana (my dad's mom) passed away when I was 11 years old.  She lived in Florida, but she was visiting us for the holidays.  My nana, dad, and I stayed up late on Christmas Eve watching the movie Home Alone and laughing hysterically.  My nana had the sort of laugh that was like a cartoon character, and her laugh made my dad crack up even harder.  The next morning Nana went into the hospital near us, where my youngest sister had been born less than three months before, and that is where my paternal grandmother passed away.  Her funeral had been planned for quite some time, so, of course, we all made the trek to upstate New York in the middle of a blizzard at the beginning of February to go to the Mass. 

Back to 2006

Seven years ago in January, Kevin had just had foot surgery and we got a call that his mother’s health was failing.  She’d been in a nursing home for years with Alzheimer’s, so getting worse for her meant she wouldn’t likely live very long.  Kevin was able to speak to her on the phone to tell her he loved her and that it was okay to let go.  As soon as the 48 hours was up that he had to be off of his foot, we were able to fly to upstate New York (thanks to the help of one of the families for whom I nannied at the time letting us use their frequent flyer miles) for the burial of Kevin’s mother (Joyce) and father (Harry Potter).  His father had passed away the year before and per his request had been cremated and was to be placed in his wife’s coffin.   

Then and Now

My maternal grandmother miraculously lived through a number of brushes with death.  Doctors told us numerous times she only had a matter of months, if not days, to live.  They were wrong for sixteen years about that.  Despite having an advanced stage of cancer and having a pacemaker put in, she returned home and was able to live on her own for several more years. 
In 2009 when my dad was also in hospice care, we admitted my grandma as well.  My grandma, however, had the blessed experience of getting well enough that she got kicked out of hospice.  The nurse figured she probably didn’t need their care anymore when they kept trying to come see her, and she wasn’t in her room.  She was off playing bridge or at Mass (in the building), but she was clearly doing significantly better. 
The prayer that if this was my grandmother’s time to go to the Lord that it would be quick and painless for her was granted.  Kevin and I went and visited her last Wednesday evening and saw that she was on oxygen and exhibiting many of the symptoms that Kevin and I have come to recognize in those whose death was going to happen very soon.  I thought she would at least make it until the weekend, but that wasn’t to be. 
I was at the family’s house where I nanny when I received the call from my mom about how Grandma had passed away during the night.  My mom and some of the nuns had been with her praying at the time.  Because I’d had my initial cry and mourning period a couple weeks earlier, I was able to take the news in stride.  (I was cheerleading at a St. Mary’s basketball game held at Benedictine High School when my dad and uncles came in to tell us that Nana had passed away.)
Interestingly enough, a couple weeks before my grandmother’s sharp decline, I walked into Mass at Little Sisters of the Poor, saw her asleep in her wheelchair and having difficulty breathing, and I just knew she wouldn’t be with us in body as well as spirit for much longer.  I cried throughout the Mass, much the same as I did the evening a couple weeks before my nana’s death when it sank it that she wouldn’t be getting better this time like she had the other times doctors told us she wouldn’t make it. 

Funeral Arrangements & Prayers Requests  

This Saturday, February 9, 2013, my grandmother, Marilyn Lohwater’s funeral will be held at 10:30am at St. Charles Borromeo Church.  May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.  Amen.
Please also pray that all of us will make it safely to and from yet another female family member’s funeral in upstate NY at the beginning of February during a snowstorm.  They’re saying that the storm could end up dumping 2 feet of snow in the Northeast.

Note to reader: we weren't able to make it up for the funeral, but at least my mom got there before the worst of the weather descended.
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