Monday, November 9, 2009

What is a GOOD bye?

My grandmother is dying. I'm terrified that she won't make it until we get to see her today. Yes, I've told her I love her, but I haven't actually said Good Bye yet. I know where my Nannie is headed. I know that she is ready and more than willing to go. We've talked about it so many times over the last months. But now, as I face saying Good Bye to the woman who has been my example and impacted my life to the point where I owe her everything, because I know my faith began because of her, I can't bear the thought of not having her here.
I thought I was doing well with this, I knew she wouldn't last long. But there was that part of me, knowing that she likely wouldn't make it until Christmas, but still hoping that the boys could make her one last Christmas ornament, that maybe we could make her gingersnaps this year and bring them to her so she can see how part of her will carry on. For all the baking I do, and how I can impress with my fancy cheesecakes and scones, I still can't get her gingersnap recipe to go right. That's my favorite memory of her, the two of us in her kitchen baking gingersnaps. But I know even if she made it through Christmas, it wouldn't make it any easier, I'd just find another reason for her to stay.
I keep reminding myself that this is what she wants. She wants to go home, she's been ready since my grandfather died last year. I know wishing her to stay is utterly and completely selfish on my part, but I can't help it. And there's that part of me that hopes she dies soon after we say goodbye. I know she wants it, and I don't want to see her suffer any more. And I read back over the words I've typed and I see I's all over the place. Once again, I've made it all about me.
Whenever I visit her, she goes on and on about how proud she is of me, and how happy she is that her granddaughter has found the Lord. She talks about her great-grandsons being raised in a Christian home, and how important that is.She thanks me for little tiny things that I've done that she's already thanked me for several times.She faces death like it's no big deal and goes on and on about me picking her up one day when she didn't have a ride. I need to learn some of that selflessness. So today I will take my family in to say good bye, and hopefully today she will be the selfish one, to take our love without feeling like she needs to give anything back. She has given more than enough for one lifetime.