Thursday, we traveled to my cousin's wedding a few hours away. We met the family for the Rehearsal Dinner, which was one of the best meals I think I've ever had! Served family style, we ate salad (with the best dressing ever), calamari, bruschetta, fettuccini alfredo, chicken scallopini, lasagna, and a selection of desserts. I ate like it was Thanksgiving!
Friday morning, my kids got to swim in the hotel pool. Later, we visited a huge outlet mall where I shopped 'til I dropped. I picked up some new things and Hubby bought me a new purse on a whim. (He handed it to me outside the store and told me to look in the bag. What a sweetie!)
Friday evening, my cousin became a husband to the most beautiful bride at a lovely ceremony. It made the painful (but adorable) shoes I wore worth the pain. We wished them well as they left the church, anxious for their upcoming cruise.
That night, I crashed in a too-small bed and tried to sleep. The happiness now over, I worried about what I knew the future would hold.
Saturday morning, we visited the mall again before heading home. I received a series of strange text messages from my mom, which made me realize what had already happened.
Just after noon on Saturday, my grandmother passed away. Grandpa and my parents kept the news from us until the mother of the groom, grandma's youngest child, arrived safely home. We were only minutes behind, so we arrived before grandma was taken away. Everyone was on the phone calling family and we spent some time alone with Grandma. It was hard. So hard. My kids were there so I tried to be really strong. My parents and grandfather were doing so well; it had been about five hours since she passed. Their strength helped me. My kids all cried, which broke my heart. Even Son #2, who rarely shows emotion, broke down. That was the one that bothered me the most..
After grandma was taken away and all the phone calls were made, food began pouring in. It is so nice to have a host of caring friends through times like these. I could never count how many funeral dinners I've served and how many meals I've cooked for grieving families. It's true when they say, "What goes around comes around." The kindness of our church family has come around again and again.
Saturday night, someone must have prayed for sleep to come because sleep came. Shocking to me, I slept soundly all night long. We attended church together as a family on Sunday, which was more difficult than I thought. Grandma used to sit in front of me and I knew she'd never be back on that pew. She hadn't been in service for a while, but there was a different feeling about it now- a finality.
Today, more food has rolled in. I don't even know how we will eat it all. A family friend has offered to be the liaison and organize all the donations over various days. I won't have to buy groceries or cook for some time.
As for me, I'm doing well. I'm actually doing much better than I was last week. It's only by the strength of God that I'm making it through. There is, of course, a sense of relief that her pain and suffering are over. No longer will my mom have to sleep on the couch in order to administer medication through the night. No longer will my grandfather have to get someone to watch Grandma so he can leave the house for a few hours. No longer will I have to see the confused, pained look on her poor, little face. She's at peace.
I still have my moments. Grandpa broke down in front of me today and it was almost more than I could handle. I'm tired of people asking me why I'm crying. I spontaneously break out in tears and I would think people would understand why.
I feel closer to my mom than I ever have. We are leaning on one another in a very special way. I'm so thankful for her right now and I look on her with such great admiration. If you knew the things she's gone through over the past year...
The service will be Wednesday night. As a bishop's wife, we expect visitors from all over the country. We are hosting a dinner afterward for approximately 100 out-of-town guests.
I'm keeping busy, which has helped. I am in charge of picking up all the food that comes in at the church and taking it to the house. I helped create the beautiful honorary program and picked out the photos for the slideshow. They even allowed me to decide the obituary picture. This will be a high-class funeral that I wish you all could see. She was one of the best so we want to make sure she gets the best.
I will probably refrain from posting for a while. It's not where my heart is right now. I knew that my faithful readers would suspect her passing when I didn't write for a few days. So yes, it's true. But the battle is over and life goes on.
Here's to the memory of my grandmother, Grace. A woman who was truly the very definition of her given name. She will be greatly missed.