A few months ago we came to find out that my grandma was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and probably has had it for awhile. She decided to give chemotherapy a shot and see if it would get rid of the cancer. After going through a few treatments they checked and found out that the cancer wasn’t responding to the chemo, so since then she has just been trying to manage the pain.
I was recently able to make a trip out to see her and spend time with her and I was over come with so many emotions. I have never had someone close pass away before so the whole experience for me has been a whirlwind of emotion. I know without a doubt that I will get to see her and the rest of my loved ones again after this life, but why is that not enough? Why do I still feel so fearful and upset and sad? My anxiety level even just thinking about all the what if’s, could haves, and so on goes through the roof.
Since a young age I haven’t liked the idea of dying. I remember watching a show on TV around 10 years old about this teenager who had died but came back and was hanging out with his same friends in school and he didn’t realize/accept that he was dead. It was a light hearted, comical youth show but to me it was so troubling. I would go to sleep at night feeling restless and short of breath just at the thought of the after life and the fear of the unknown. There are so many unknowns and I think that is the hardest part for me.
This experience with my grandmother has given me a different outlook on life and how I want to continue to live from here on out. It is so easy to get caught up in the day to day things and when I look back on my days I want to see that there has been meaning and purpose to my days–each and every one of them, whether it be helping out a friend, or being a good wife or mother, being kind to a stranger in passing, spending quality positive time with loved ones, etc. Family has and always will be so important to me, but now more than ever I am realizing that life is so short and time goes by so fast, and we don’t have control over what is in store for us, so I want to make sure I take full advantage of all the little moments. I truly want to live with no regrets. This isn’t something that happens over night, this will take practice and attention but I am no longer going to just live, I am going to live with purpose and meaning.
We may not be in control of the path our life takes BUT we can be in control of the smoothness of the ride with our perspective and attitude and our pro activeness to do good. Again this kind of goes back to having a heart of gratitude (earlier post). Life is what we make of it and no matter what happens it can be a good one if we try to see the positive in all things. My grandma has and continues to live a long full life. She has many people who love her very much. I hurt inside knowing the pain she is going through mentally and physically, but the Lord loves her and is watching out for her and I myself need to have faith that whatever happens is out of anyones control. I have so many fun memories of this grandma and as great as it would be to have even more, I truly cherish those memories I do have of the times we have gotten to spend together.
*some things I want to remember…
-looking at old photos every time I was with her and talking about family past and present.
-her cooking! I always loved when she would come and stay with us as kids while my parents went away b/c she always made us whatever we wanted and it was homemade and so yummy! my favorite was the extra thick cut bacon every morning! 🙂 we always joked that us kids gained 10 pounds while grandma came to stay b/c of her good cooking
-her southern accent is truly one of the best memories. she has a thick southern accent and my siblings and I would talk in our best southern accents for a good week or so after seeing her.
-her sarcastic, spicy humor. now as an adult I see where my dad got his humor. he jokes around constantly just like his mom. Love this about her.
-her kindness. she truly is one of the sweetest, loving ladies I will ever know. She would help any family member with anything, sometimes too much to a fault, but I love how selfless she is, especially after all she has been through.
-the trip my sister and I took out to see her and we took her to get her very first pedicure and manicure. she loved it and was so funny and couldn’t sit still so they had to keep re doing her polish. she was so nervous at first but afterwards kept saying how much she couldn’t wait to go back.
-watching her play with, hold, and rock our babies (her great-grandchildren). it was so special to be there and see her loving on the little babies.
**Today I am grateful for…
group texting. I know many people find is really annoying but I love to group text my family and connect with each other even though we are all spread out across the US. Being so far from family now, I often get lonely and homesick for my family; close and extended and with being able to group text, it really feels like we are all together hanging out. I love it.
cereal. the days where I am feeling lazy and not wanting to make anything at all but I’m still so hungry, grabbing a yummy bowl of cereal is the best thing ever, and thankfully today I had both cereal and milk in the house to enjoy. 🙂
memorial day. I have great memories as a kid going around to different cemeteries with one of my grandmas and cousins and my grandma would tell us all about the people whose graves we were visiting. I love family history and genealogy and truly love that we can have a special day to remember all loved ones and soldiers who have passed away.