I was thinking of my Gram this evening and decided to dust this off...
Sunday, October 25, 2009 at 12:34am
They found a blood clot and huge bruise and swelling on her brain, said they needed to operate asap but couldn't b/c she's on cummidin (blood thinner). They had to pump her full of plasma to thicken her blood. They finally operated and put her in a drug induced coma for Sunday & Monday. I arrived Monday night and missed visiting hours.
Tuesday morning we got an emergency call saying she was still bleeding on her brain and needed a 2nd surgery of which they had told us would probably kill her. We all rushed down to see her before surgery and waited to hear from the doctor. He told us Tuesday afternoon that he had removed a half dollar size of her brain to help reduce swelling. He said that unfortunately it was part of the lobe that controls speech, hearing, and memory. He told us she would most likely end up in a nursing home with round the clock care (he didn't use the word vegetable but we knew that's what he meant). We all sobbed in the waiting room together. We discussed how Gram would never have wanted to live that way.
She rested until we all went back in around 6pm and said our goodbyes. My Uncles and Dad (her three sons) gave her permission to go and to be with the Lord and leave the pain behind. We all sobbed over her bedside. She opened one eye. We were told later that was probably some kind of reflex. We then stared and waited, as if we were waiting for that "go towards the light moment." It didn't happen (I'm not sure what we thought would happen). We slowly began dispersing one by one and went back to the waiting room. We had a wonderful family dinner that night, albeit sad, it was peaceful and we all expected to get the call in the morning. We didn't get THAT call.
Instead, we got a call from my Aunt and her two girls who were at the hospital visiting her again. They said we all needed to come quick! She was alert, with her eyes open, and would not take her eyes of her eldest great grandchild, Juliano. It was as if she was mesmerized by him. We all went rushing down again. And by all, well, there were 20 of us (my Nick and JP were the only ones missing). When I got there 1/2 the family was once again in the waiting room, this time with happy tears. My Step Mom Mary, Madi, and I went in. When I rounded her bedside I called her name, "Gram?" She opened her eyes and stared straight at me. She then looked over at Mary and then down to Madi's eye level and into her eyes. THAT was no reflex. We talked to her for a moment until she closed her eyes again. We went back to the waiting room. My Dad, his brothers, and others all had the same experience.
When we started to leave the hospital to come home to DE Madi started bugging me about this picture she had drawn for Gram and that SHE HAD to give it to her. Even though I told her that she was resting, Madi insisted.
Here is where my goosebumps start up every time I tell this- Madi and I went to her bedside with the picture. I touched Gram's leg as I rounded the bed and she opened her eyes, yet again. I told her Madi wanted to give her a picture and I held it out for her to look at. Honestly, I thought I was more doing it for Madi's sake than for Gram's. Before I even realized, Gram reached up her arm about 4-5 inches and took the picture in her fingers. She TOOK the picture FROM ME! Her hand then dropped as she held the picture. I turned to Madi and she looked so surprised. I turned to Gram and said "Gram, you took the picture, you took the picture!" I wiped away a tear from her face and it startled her, she felt that. I couldn't believe it! I don't know if Madi even realizes the extent of that moment but I sure will explain it every chance I get!
In the couple of days since, those little moments have become more and more significant, and more and more extraordinary. When I left her bedside that last time and returned to the waiting room I started to ask for an explanation. I was interrupted and told, it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter.
Each day we have all thanked the Lord for giving us one more day for her. So for now, one day at a time, one day at a time. In Jesus' name we Pray.