Prayers, positive thoughts, thinking of yous and the passing of good luck, these are the things I am thankful for! Last month my 91-year-old grama flew all the way from Illinois to the Pacific Northwest just for the opportunity to spend some long-overdue time with her favorite granddaughter. Am I her only granddaughter, well, yes, but still… we have always been more like mother and daughter and I’ve always called her my soulmate or soul sister. She is the one person on the planet I’ve never kept a secret from. Yes, she is My Person.
She is 91 and I turned 46 while she was here visiting with me. We’d planned a month together and ended up with nearly two. She arrived on June 7 and my birthday was June 30 and she had tickets to fly home (with my aunt) on July 6. And for the month we really only had two things planned, 1) spend lots of quality time together and 2) attend my birthday party taking place at my friend Joan’s house on June 28th.
We had a wonderful visit with a lot of quality time and then the day of my party rolled around and unfortunately she wasn’t feeling very well though she wanted to meet my friends. And so my mom drove Grama and I over and my friends — wonderful friends that they are — all came out to the car to meet Grama. And though the meeting was short and Grama didn’t get out of the car they all found her to be “adorable, delightful and funny”. Some people even said they could see a resemblance… though perhaps it was more in personality than looks.
I kissed Grama goodbye, told her I was sorry she was not feeling up for a party, but that I would be back to see her first thing in the morning. The party was great though I did miss having her there with me… my birthday was after all, why we had chosen June for our visit. The next morning I arrived home at about 10:30 a.m. My mother and aunt were up, milling around the house when I went into the spare bedroom to let Grama know I was back. And that was the end of my happy day. Don’t worry, she wasn’t dead, she wasn’t even hurt but something bad had indeed happened to her. She had fallen in the night and no one was awake to hear her.
I alerted my family to what was going on, asked my aunt to go to her immediately, told my mom to call 9-1-1, and then immediately got on Facebook and began telephoning friends asking for Prayers from believers and Positive Thoughts to be sent into the universe from everyone else, and then I went radio silent. She had not had a heart attack, a stroke or a seizure; she had not broken a hip or any other bone, there were no rips, tears, sprains or even bruises for that matter. And two days after checking into the hospital, they told us that they believed she was “tired”, “ready to go”, “dying”.
My mother and I thought so too. She already felt “gone”. The hospital said she might have a month to live, but it would probably be closer to 2 weeks. My mother figured a week while I could not imagine her lasting another 48 hours. My aunt was the lone hold out. She did not believe it. She would not believe it. I thought she was in denial and I felt a great sadness for her over everything else.
My mother, aunt and I spent every day with her at the hospital. My aunt held Grama’s hand and read hymns. I laid on the hospital bed with her, my arm holding her and spoke of God and his love, her safety, and the beauty of Heaven, and my mother spent almost every night with her (except the two I stayed over) and attended to all the errands or tasks needing to be done so that Grama was never along. Someone was always at her side. And when the day came that we gave her permission to go, to do what she needed to do without worrying about us, that was the day something tiny shifted in her brain. And the very next day she was stronger and she kept getting stronger every day as we continued our patterns of treatment as the hospital and all of their workers took care of her needs. This continued on until I finally surfaced on Facebook on July 8th, for just a few moments to write the following message:
“Hello to everyone who has been praying for my Grama… as each of you know, the power of prayer works. She has amazed all of the doctors, nurses and techs on the floor. She had been given an “her body is tired, she probably has less than 2 weeks to live” diagnosis to being up and walking circles around the nurses station, all in just over a week! (The first time she walked out of her room everyone got up from their computers and clapped, cheering her on, real smiles of happiness across their faces. She was the talk of the 8th floor on that day! It appears tomorrow may be her date of release to a rehab facility. We are so grateful for your prayers and know we have been given a blessing.”
I am now pleased to report that Grama got to fly back to Illinois on Tuesday. She’ll be in a short-term rehab facility there for a few more weeks and then home! And so this week I wanted to take my Thankful Thursday moment and give a great big shout out to prayers, positive thoughts, thinking of yous, the passing of good luck on to us as well as any good karma points being redeemable.
And, of course, I am so thankful that my aunt was correct all along: Grama survived!