I wasn't going to visit again because I was scared to. I had said good bye to Nana at our family reunion just weeks before this day and she still looked like, sounded like, and left lipstick on my cheek like my Nana. I was afraid that I'd be left with a similar image as I have with my sisters death if I saw her again. So I decided to stay home and wait. My mom was caring for her in her last week of life and I clearly remember the feeling of Catie's last days and hours. They were long and tiring and blurred together. I thought maybe my mom could use a little break and some fresh air so I decided to drive down to south city. My mom had text me and said "its ok not to come, this is very hard to see." I gave it alot of thought, but this is all I could think of.
This is a picture of my Poppie and Nana just 5 months before Nanas death. They were walking down the hall at Kaiser Vacaville, headed for Catie's room. They knew driving to Vacaville that this very well could be the last time they saw their granddaughter and the condition she was in was anything but easy to see. I thought about my Nana sitting beside Catie's bed, holding her cold hand. She and my Poppie sat waiting with their son, their daughter in law and their grandchildren, for Catie to leave this world. I remember starring at my Nana and feeling amazed, once again at her strength. I have known very few, if any women, as strong as my Nana was.
I text my mom back and told her when I'd be at the house to take her to lunch. All the way there, feeling nervous and honestly scared, I continued to think to myself, life IS hard. Math is hard, work is hard, raising kids is hard, lots of things in life are hard. But you get through each thing. I kept thinking how hard it was for my Nana to see Catie die, but she was still there none the less. Seeing my nana this way was going to be hard but she would come see me if it had been the other way around.
I received a sweet hug, kiss and words from her that day that I will forever treasure. I often saw her face in my mind. Sick and weak. It was so hard to remember her healthy until I had this dream...
I drove down to South City with the boys. We were going to pick up Poppie and grab a cup of coffee with him. I walked through the door of their house and searched every room for him. I walked down the hall and turned to the spare bedroom and my poppie was there, standing tall and smiling from ear to ear. He pointed into the room. I peaked around the corner and there was my Nana, standing up making her bed. It was the hospital bed under the painting of the Poppy flowers and all of the blankets were folded in a pile. She looked like her normal self. "oh my Kelly! Its good to see you my love, how are you?" She said as she set the blankets down and reached for me. I looked at her and asked, "Nana, what are you doing? You're not in your bed?" She shook her head and said, "I'm fine now, I'm completely fine now."
...and then I woke up. It was a very real dream. I got out of bed and walked to the kitchen for a drink of water, I checked on my boys. Trying to wake up and get a grasp on what was a dream and what wasn't. I cried until I fell back to sleep because I miss her so very much. But I am so so thankful for that dream. It was so real that it is now the first image that comes to mind when I think of her, rather than the image before of her sick.
I want to write more about her. Writing seems to help me really take time to focus on the people and things that I love. It helps me to really remember little details, but as hard as I try to sit down and write about how incredible she was or how much she meant to me I am at a loss for words. I feel like there are no words to describe a woman like my Nana. She was one of a kind. I'm sure the words will come to me eventually, but today I am just left speechless. I wish so badly I could call her and chat like I used to do, but I'm so thankful to at least have had that dream.