This is how I spent my New Years Eve. They told me to tell my grandmother goodbye because the pump was the only thing keeping her alive, despite her surgeon's proclamation that he was a "kick-ass surgeon." I forgot that I could cry like that until I saw her.
I told her goodbye and I loved her.
I told her my scarves look like shit and I need her to rip the knots out.
I said the Benediction with her.
Two hours later my grandma became responsive. I read Psalms to her. When she mouthed the word water the RN brought a sponge on a stick. I couldn't help but think of Christ and "I thirst." I told her stories about my students. I told her I'm going to do her hair for her, (my aunt suggested purple, that was quickly rejected with a vigorous head shake). We upgraded to spray bottles. I held her hand. I tried to read a little non-fiction, but she wanted a romance novel! I sprayed water into her mouth when she mouthed the word "thirsty." I watched her mouth the words "I love you, too" around her breathing tube to people as they came in and said goodnight. I told her "I'm sorry, but we can't yet" when she mouthed the word "drink." I saw the hole in her chest the size of two fists. We watched the ball drop in New York. I played with her hair. I sprayed water into her mouth when she mouthed the word "thirsty." I kissed my grandma. The RNs "strongly recommended" I leave the room.
It's funny how my mom needs a cigarette when she can't breath.
I felt like I was left to suffer hope.
"The only infallible truth of our lives is that everything we love in life will be taken from us."
We all got to hold her while they turned the pumps off. We told my grandma she looked pretty. We lied. She looked beyond beautiful. My grandpa told her he was taking her dancing when she got better, that she was his baby, that he loved her more than anything. We said the Lord's Prayer and I said the Benediction one last time.
I didn't cry until her heart stopped and we left the room. I erupted. It was volcanic - violent and hot. I made people uncomfortable.
Happy New Year