I got out of the shower this morning to find a missed call from Dad on my cell phone. He said your mom ('Nanny' to all of us grandkids) was given just hours to live, and I should drive home immediately. I threw a bag together in record time and was out the door. Halfway into my two hour drive to the hospital, my phone rang again...
I was too late.
It turns out she died before I had even left my house... ironically, at that very minute I had been bracing myself against the kitchen counter before I got in the car, trying to keep it together and praying to God to be with her.
He was... and so were you. When I got to the hospital, I was told that just before she died she lifted her hand-- palm-up-- into the air and smiled. I have no doubts that it was you by His side as He took her hand and welcomed her home.
I had a hard time being sad at first. A mother and daughter were reunited today for all of eternity; that is something that I only dream of, and you two got to experience that. I felt a weird calm about it all-- that is, until all of our family left the hospital but me (and your friend Lois, who is an absolute angel and stayed by my side), and I decided to see Nanny's body.
That's when things got real for me. I took one step into the doorway, saw her dead body slumped over in that hospital bed, and literally gasped. I had to look away; I was frozen; tears streaming down my face. I didn't even recognize her. I was instantly brought back to a place-- a feeling-- that I had so desperately tried to forget three years ago.
Grandpa looked at Dad as he was leaving earlier and said, "I don't know how you do this." The truth is, we don't either. We just... do. We have no other choice but to keep going. It's that simple... and that complicated.
I love you,