Wow, this is a perfect word for me today. When my grandma had a stroke she was so very bitter. She was bitter on her childhood, adulthood and the stroke. I remember her saying “why did God do this to me”. It was terribly sad to see, hear and experience. She for a period of time hated everything and sometimes everyone. My grandma, the strong, powerful woman was so very weak. It pained me to go through this with her partly because I didn’t have the answers.
She was in the nursing home for 11 years and the first about 9 were, what we refer to, as the terrible years. The stroke took away her ability to walk and the use one of her arms and some of the memory but she remembered things of her childhood. These were horrible things. Things I already knew but wish she would have forgotten. My grandma ran away from home when she was 13 and never went back. Very traumatic childhood and that’s an understatement.
The stroke intensified all her feelings including the bitterness. I remember telling my mom I never want to be a bitter person, how do I make that not happen. She just squeezed my hand and said we needed to pray. To say I was scared doesn’t do it justice. I still am. I worry about that and try my best to pray and look for guidance.
The last couple of years were better as she came to terms with her past, went to church in the nursing home and began to forgive. I still knew she wanted to die but she didn’t ask us to do it anymore. She just lived each day the best she could. This is not to say there were not hard times but it was better. Then magically she started the process to leave this earth. She was put on hospice and just when we thought it couldn’t go any longer, she opened her eyes and started talking. Just as fast as that happened, it was over and she just slept. One night she said “look at all the people over there”. She saw her mom who after many years came to live with her and came with only the house coat and slippers that she wore. My gram bought her new clothes and she passed away in her favorite chair in my grams house. She saw her mom. I believe they were there to guide her “home”.
My grandma passed away on May 2nd. I swear every wrinkle was gone out of her face and I have never in my life seen that level of peace on my grams face.
The bitterness she felt and displayed was justified based on her past but it hurt her too. I was born on her birthday, October 2nd. We celebrated it every year together. I was her mini-me. I know she wouldn’t want me to be bitter but sometimes it is so very hard not to be. I miss her dearly and so wish she didn’t have to go through all of that.
I guess I need to pray about it again and continue to do that until I am comfortable again.
A perfect word for me today.