Last night when I got home from work, I sat down at my computer with every intention of putting together a blog post for today.
Sure, I had a few on the back burner that I’ve had sitting around half-completed, and it wouldn’t be too hard to finish them up. But I took a lot of pictures of my new dice over the weekend, and I had a brilliant idea for a D&D-themed post.
About ten after six, Shane got a phone call from his adopted grandpa (they used to work together on nights as security and got pretty close) asking if we wanted to meet him at the pub around the corner from us, so of course we packed up and went.
I, with many ideas still swirling in my head, packed up my handy-dandy purse-sized notebook and a pen. Just in case.
I got about half of it written at the bar in between conversations. Not the whole thing—it was still an unfinished idea, with a few scribbled points under a few bigger headlines. I knew I’d be fine if I finished it at home, because it was still fresh enough in my mind.
Then, about ten to eight, I got a phone call from my mom. I wasn’t at the table, so she left a voicemail and immediately called Shane. It was no big deal, she said. But she wanted to talk to me.
About twenty minutes later, she called again. My grandmother was in the hospital, and I should probably go see her.
Now, this on its own wasn’t a surprise. She’s been in the hospital for about two weeks now, ever since she admitted to a nurse at the hospital that she’d been fainting for no reason. She’s 84, so they don’t exactly take that lightly.
But what scared me on that phone call was the way my mom said I should go see her. It sounded very…final.
My grandma’s been sick for a while. She’s been on dialysis for about ten years, which when I first heard of it, immediately reminded me of a science fiction series I was obsessed with in tenth grade, Bio of a Space Tyrant. The main character goes through it for the last two books, if I recall.
It seemed relatively easy to deal with in the books, but the last ten years have been anything but. She’s had several health scares, and because my family deals with stress through humour, we have a running joke about her being the cat with 80 lives. It’s terrifying every time, but usually three days later she’s fine.
This time, though, I couldn’t help feeling like something was different. Shane and I immediately headed out for the hospital, he with calm and collected poise and I with a massive box of tissues.
When we got there, my sister met us downstairs with an uncharacteristic lack of goofiness, which really just reinforced my instincts. And sitting there with my grandmother, I knew something was different.
She was still the woman who’d sat down for Harry Potter marathons with us and fallen asleep half an hour in. She was still the woman who’d knitted us hats so long they could double for scarves one Christmas. She was still the woman who’d taught us to make peanut butter cookies, taken us on trips every summer, beaten us relentlessly at Wii bowling despite saying she had no idea what she was doing.
She was still the grandmother I knew and loved, but she wasn’t scared of death anymore. She almost seemed ready for it.
As much as it broke my heart to see, I’m glad I got to see her. I’m glad I got to hold her hand, tell her not to do anything I wouldn’t do, and make her smile even just a little. I’m glad I got to say goodbye, even though I want her to get better so it’s not the last one I ever get to say.
I don’t know what tomorrow holds, or the day after, or the day after. I don’t know if I’ll ever get to see her again. But I do know that even though I’ll probably never remember what it was I had in mind when I scribbled on that pad of paper, I will never regret not finishing that idea I had—because I still got to see her that night.