This past week was an emotional week for me. This was the week I was going to dread. I just wanted it to be over. A few days ago, it was my late grandmothers' birthday.
Growing up, I only had three living grandparents because my grandfather, from my dads side of the family, passed before my parents even met. Because I knew that one day I would live through the death of one of my remaining grandparents, the process was 10 times worse.
My grandmother Lina was one of the strongest women I knew. When my mother, her siblings, and her parents came from Sicily over 50 years ago, my grandmother made it her mission to one day buy a house. Then, 16 years later she did just that. She wasn't the type of woman to just give up. She worked hard for what she wanted.
When she got sick this past February, I was at school. My boyfriend actually stayed overnight since he was visiting from his school. My mom texted him saying what happened and that when I woke up to bring me to the hospital. Earlier that morning, my grandmother had a mild heart attack and wound up getting congestive heart failure.
Seeing her in the hospital was the scariest thing. She had never been sick in her life. She was only in the hospital one other time in her life a few years back for an infection on her finger. I heard stories of people getting sick with congestive heart failure and them living for years with it. We all got our hopes up.
For a whole month, she was fighting. She got better and was brought to rehab for a week until water was getting around her lungs and was brought back to the hospital. The doctors did a procedure to get the water out which worked until liquid got inside her lungs. They would have to put her on a machine and she refused. So when she made her decision, we knew we had limited time with her.
A few days before her passing, I was flying out to visit my boyfriend for spring break. I told her I would be back and said, "You better be here when I'm back," and she just smiled and nodded her head through her oxygen mask. Three days later she passed.
Losing her was one of the worst things I have ever experienced. Especially because I wasn't there with the rest of my family. I came back the very next day and the wake was a couple days later. I even gave the eulogy at her funeral. And every day since, has been worse and worse. But I know that she wouldn't want me to sulk. She would want me to live my life. ANY grandparent would.
So, happy belated 91st birthday grandma Lina. I love you so much, and miss you everyday.