Today, September 11, 2015, my 92 year old grandma died.
They said she peacefully slipped away at 10:05am.
It has been quite the week for us.
My Grandma, or Gammy as she has been known to the great grand kids, has had heart issues for 25 years…. a little crazy if you think of it. 25 years ago she had a quadruple bypass, or something like that. But she was still going strong for a lot of years.
It was not until she was 89 that she came to live with us on the west coast, because we all decided it was time for her to not live alone any longer. Yes a move to California from Louisiana is not the easiest, but she was a trooper. My mom cared for her and we all basically lived together. Four generations on one property. This is where my eyes tear up…. sometimes Gammy would be a little down, her mind was not as sharp as it once was, and I would take my little baby Nuelle to go see her. Gammy would light up as her eyes gazed upon my 0-10 month old little girl. She also loved to see Micah, her 6 year old great grandson. Gammy would always get a smile out of Nuelle, she would get on the ground with the crawling baby and make her laugh. Nuelle would always get a smile out of Gammy too. I would take her back to Gammy’s room, and simply try to stop running around and be with my grandma…. in this moment of loss, I wish I would have slowed down more often and been more present….. maybe in death this is what we are often reminded of.
One week ago today Gammy was doing just fine. Yes the constant heart medication and the slipping of her mind, but for the most part she was just fine. We all went to a little vacation spot for the day to celebrate summer and my mom’s birthday. Gammy was right there in the mix. Then a few days later at about 5am on Monday morning she was short of breath. My mom called an ambulance and they took her in, she was having a heart attack. Things were up and down for a few days, what was happening was congestive heart failure. The doctors said she could have hours or days. My mom was at the hospital for most of the week. It was rough.
Day 1 and 2 Gammy got confused once the sun went down and didn’t know where she was. Wednesday and Thursday were a little better. They adjusted her medications to make things a little more comfortable and to help with her breathing. Thursday my mom was able to really share some sweet time with her. They were able to talk and even laugh. God was present through the whole time.
Then on Friday morning she slipped away. We were not there for that final moment, I wish I was, but I know that she knew she was loved, she knew she was a good mother, grandmother, and great grandmother…. I guess when it comes to the end of life it is really the relationships and family matter most.
There is a brief summary of Wanda McKenzie Holder’s last week on earth. From a family celebration on Friday, to a heart attack on Monday and a passing on Friday. She lived a good long life and passed without much suffering. Thank you God for her life and for her eternal home with You.
Gammy, you are missed.
Gammy and Nuelle shortly after she was born.
Gammy and Micah shortly after she came out the California.