Its raining out here in The Woodlands. Its suppose to rain all week. I love when it rains as long as I don't have to travel in it. When it does rain, I like to open the windows, pull out my journal and just write. Lately, I've had a lot to write about. I'm dealing with a lot. I've dreaded this time in my life since I heard my grandmother say she had lupus back when I was in the 3rd or 4th grade. I didn't understand what it meant then but I heard the fear and worry in her voice. But like most superheroes, she bounced back from every setback. Doctors kept counting her out and then just like that, she came back from the brink of death and proved them wrong. We went through these episodes for years, more years than I care to write about.
A few years ago we discovered that she had Congestive Heart Failure or CHF as its called in the medical community. I remember she was in the hospital preparing for a surgery and I walked in. It was early in the morning, just me and her. No nurses around and no other family she felt she had to be strong for. I told her at that moment that as long as she had some fight in her, I was going to be fighting just as hard for her. "But the minute you feel you cant fight anymore, that you are tired, its okay to let go. We will be okay." I told her this over and over again that morning and then we prayed. I was never comfortable praying aloud but in that space and time, she needed to hear my prayers on her behalf. She needed me to reassure her that regardless of where this fight was going to take us, I was in it for the long haul and that God was in the midst of it. We didn't know then what lied ahead but I chose not to focus on the time we had left or her sickness at all. I instead focused on making sure I made her happy, made sure to make her smile, do random things with her. We would drive through expensive neighborhoods and make up imaginary lives that consisted of me and her moving in together and just being happy. I would pick her up and treat her to lunch and we would just laugh till our belly aches. We were truly the best of friends.
April 1, 2016. I woke up at 3 in the morning to a lot of missed calls and a Facebook message to call my cousin, it was urgent. Grandma was in the hospital and it wasn't looking good. I became numb. I had prepared myself for this but at that moment, I was lost. I drove 2 hours to Beaumont with my mind all over the place. Honestly, I don't even remember me driving there. I do remember that I cried the whole way. How was I going to say goodbye to the woman who helped raised me? The woman who hated to see me in pain and did whatever she could to fix any and all of my aches? The woman who I had just spent a full week with doing nothing but laughing and watching the game show network with? But I did. I walked into the hospital room, kissed her still warm forehead and thanked her again for all she had done for me and my siblings. I kissed her over and over and over again as my tears dropped. She had fought all she could. She stayed true to our plan, to fight until you can't. At 11:57 am, she was gone.
I miss her so bad. Sometimes the pain is too overwhelming to put into words. Its paralyzing at times and exhausting, all at the same time. Some days I feel like I've lived a lifetime without her and other days I feel like I'm still traveling Hwy 105 to go say goodbye. I'm stuck between several walls of dread and grief while still making sure Caleb and Cedrick have me completely. I want to call her and have her reassure me that I will be okay, reassure me that sleep will come once I decide to close my eyes. I need her to remind me that I will smile again and my heart will still beat. I need her to tell me that's she okay and she's reunited with my mother and that they are happy. I want to hug her and feel her soft skin against mine. She was my person. She was my best friend before I even knew what that meant. I know this pain is temporary but right now, it has a stronghold on me. I'm engulfed in it.
Lately, I sit next to an open window in my bedroom and I think of her. I imagine what would we be talking about and if I'm focused long enough, I can hear her laugh. I feel her most during those times so I'm constantly sitting by the window with my journal in hand, reflecting on who I am at this moment. She still lives.
April 1,2016. 11:57 am. It hasn't stopped raining since.