Loss..remembering Grandmamou!

Many of you haven't heard from me in a while … the reason behind it , well my grandma got sick ! The one person who always backed me up when I need it , the one with whom I lived with for 3 years . She always believed in me and my dreams and we were close , she was my everything. They say you don't know what you have till it's gone , the thing is , I knew what I had , I just didn't know how hard it would be to get use to her not being there anymore !

In the end of April , she was feeling sick and had pain . She went to the doctor and it took her about 1 month to get results of her tests . The day she got the call from the nurse that told her she would be transferred to the oncology department is the day everything fell apart. I remember her calling me and telling me this so I said to her so that means you have cancer , she said no theirs transferring me to the oncology department, so I said that's the cancer department. She didn't know , and I so easily without thinking just told her the worst thing . I can tell she started not feeling good her breathing got heavier and she said I'm going to call you back . When she did I felt something wasn't right , I live 2 hours away from her house so I called my aunt ( her sister ) and said hey I know you might be tired ( because she had been driving my grandma to her appointments for a whole month ) but grandma is not feeling good , she said ok let me call her . She ended up going over and took my grandma to the emergency that's when they gave her the diagnosis!

It's was maybe 10:00 pm when my aunt called me from the hospital , she said it's not good hunny , grandma is sick , she has generalized cancer ! I was in shock and in disbelief In my head she was going to survive this and it will be fine she will get treatment and we are going to be ok ! So the next day I went to the hospital my grandma was still in the emergency , waiting for a room . The doctor came and we got to ask all the imaginable questions! So the plan was to control her pain so she is comfortable and then give her chemotherapy and she would be able to go back home . So she was admitted in palliative care around the 24th of may , they said it wasn't because she was dying but because when they had free rooms they put patients there ! My grandma hated the word cancer , she didn't want the doctors to even pronounce it but they had too . She would say I'm going to fight , I am not dying , I'm going to go back home ! One weekend I went to sleep at the hospital with her in her room and she asked me are you scared of dying , anyone who knows me can tell you that death is the one thing that terrifies me the most . So I said yes , she said I'm not scared , the only thing that bothers me is leaving all of you guys behind ( me, my mom, my sister , my brothers , my aunt , and my daughter Saralina ect ) I brushed it off your not dying, your going to bug me forever ! She was going to cry and said let's not talk about his anymore let's change subjects , so we did and then we fell asleep .

As the weeks went her pain was getting worst and her cancer that was on her lungs and liver had now went to her kidneys her other lungs , her back ….. my grandma kept that secret because we didn't know all of that . She also didn't get the severity of what she had , she didn't want to believe it ! My grandma was a funny human being as my aunt would say she was a hippie, she was a free spirit and everyone she would meet felt safe with her and she grew on people , they loved her almost instantly. In about the second week of June the doctors and the nurses made us all realize that she wasn't going back home . Her only wish was to go home even if it was just for a night and she wanted all of us to be there with her . So the doctor had said yes if we feel that it safe you will be able to go for 24 hours . So my aunt arranged everything for her the hospital bed , she cleaned her house and went to go buy the food she wanted to eat . If you asked my her what her favorite food was that she really wanted to eat she would of said and she did say ; cheese and bread , she just loved cheese and spicy things !

The date was set on the 24th of June we were going to her house and have a beautiful meal with her . My aunt called us the night before and said I don't think she will go home she is not feeling well enough … we all thought screw it she wants to go home we will take her to home . So the next day we arrive at the palliative care , my mom , my daughter , my aunt , sister and brother . Their was missing my brother Jonathan but he had a fishing trip planned and my grandma said go I want you to go and when you come back stop by . My grandma was white like a ghost , her breathing sounded like a coffee machine when it's brewing , she has water in both lungs , she was not well , and so we didn't get to bring her home . So instead we set up a table in the family room on the palliative floor , with all the cheese you can imagine , olives , bread , salami … As we served her , the nurse came and said she had to give her meds for her pain and for the water in her lungs that was starting to move up in her throat ! We asked her to wait because the medication made her woozy and we wanted her to enjoy her food .

So we all sat down trying to talk with her and then the nurse came back and said the doctor said I have to give it to her right away , so we let her did we have a choice it was that or she would choke . If their was one thing my grandma was afraid of it was choking , my aunt promised her that she wouldn't choke . She ended eating two bites of cheese one olive and then slowly she fell asleep , I had to remove the plate from her hands because she would of dropped it . We all were trying to keep her awake but we didn't succeed . We all cried , we were angry , we were sad filled with questions , mad at the doctor for not waiting . The doctor assured that it wasn't the mess who made her sleep . She , I think felt at peace , my mom , my aunt and I slept at the hospital that night , we knew what was coming but never did we expect it . They kept her in her sleep all the way till the end , we never got a chance to say bye , to say we loved her , to make peace .

The next morning the doctor came and said ; she's leaving , she was starting to turn greenish , her breathing got worst . As I laid beside her I freaked out , I wanted to go with her in my moment of despair , I didn't want her to leave me here ! So we stayed there and it was cruel because we were just waiting for that last breath and at some pont her breathing got so bad because the water was going up , the nurses had to give her 3 needles to make her heart stop . Meanwhile , my brother arrived from his fishing trip , my grandma heart was bigger that other people it kept pumping and pumping . All her organs had shut down except for her heart . She didn't want to go I know it , and then 3 more shots , I laid on her arm close to her chest . Everyone kept on telling her go you can can go , I was being selfish I kept telling her don't leave ! Her heart finally stopped at 1:15 pm , on her last breath she opened her eyes and that image is stuck in my head forever .

The nurses cried , the doctor too , it was sad. It was hard to close that door knowing never would I see her again , she was my best friend,my grandma , my shoulder to cry on , one of my favorite persons ! I miss her everyday , sometimes I want to call her , to remember she isn't there anymore ! I love her more than words and on that note I leave you a Hopi poem since she loved Native Americans:

Do not stand at my gave and weep
I am not there,
I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight
On the ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn’s rain.
When you awaken in the morning hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry.
I am not there.
I did not die.
My Spirit is still alive…

Credits of the poem @literarylew

Tiffany Barba

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