It's hell to see your parents and grandparents get old. This is one of my grandmas. She is 93. This is her with Melanie Lawson of Channel 13 where my brother works. My youngest called awhile ago kind of upset. She and my oldest were visiting "Mimi", my grandmother, and my grandmother was appearing "confused." She kept referring to my parents as my kids' parents and wouldn't back down when they tried to correct her. I hate this part of life.
About ten years ago, my ex's father was dying. We packed the girls into a tiny Toyota Tercel and drove straight through to Tulsa to be with him. My ex's family was very critical of us. The girls were 4 and 7 at the time. We took them both in to see their grandfather on his deathbed. No other young children in the family were brought in. Again, the whole family thought that we were nuts.
Their grandfather told them that he was, in fact, going to die soon and go to heaven, that he would never forget about them, would always remember them, that he was not afraid to die, and that, above all, he loved them. Now, 15 and 19, they still remember that moment and still cling to the character pillows he sent them for Christmas the year before. The father-in-law asked us to go back home after four days of vigil. We no sooner reached home, he was gone.
Drove back to Tulsa in the same Toyota a few days later for the wake. The girls, even so young, still remember the wake and still talk about it as if it was yesterday. The wake made a bigger impression on them than the funeral.
Other than their grandfather, they have not been exposed to much death, except for my grandmother's boyfriend; that was pretty traumatic. BUT they have been to several funeral home visits and funerals. They do not seem to be afraid of death. They have even heard of my near death experience.
Parting with "Mimi" will be hard because she is probably the first in the line of many deaths to come, but I am glad for them because I was not exposed much to death until I was 19 or 20, and it made it so much more difficult, I think. Well, K19 is 19, so I guess she is just like me.
When I was 3 weeks old, my dad had an accident. A pipe hit him right in the eyeball. My "Mimi" took care of me while he was in the hospital. She always told me that because she took care of me so young, that I would take care of her when she was dying. So I hope that I will be there for her when she does leave this world. She is afraid of death, unlike my other grandmother. I am not sure she believes in heaven. She goes to church, but she seems to fear death so much.
Anyway, not that she is DYING or anything. I just needed to get this stuff out. Thanks for listening, peeps.