My Grams died on Friday.
She wasn’t supposed to die. Not yet.
She was getting old, but not suddenly up-and-die kind of old. At the end, she battled a very rapidly moving pancreatic cancer that took her down in almost no time at all.
How did that happen?
This is my grandma. She was too tough to die. Too tough to be taken down by some stupid little cell mutation and division.
Yet there she was, in a state so gone and frail I almost wish I didn’t see it, on Friday afternoon. Hours before she died.
I missed her birthday party a month or so ago. It wasn’t just any party. Grams turned 80 and this party had been in the planning process for some time. She was so excited about it. It was going to be a night to remember. I had it on the calendar for months. And I missed it.
Oh, I didn’t want to miss it. I was sicker than I have been in years. I woke up with some absolutely miserable crud that would take me to the ER for tests and IVs twice before it finally left me.
And I missed her party.
That hurts, maybe more than her dying. Because, you see, my grandma always lived, and celebrating that life with her is something she deserved. I honestly believe if she had to choose for me to go to her funeral or her 80th birthday party, she wouldn’t have chosen the funeral. She would have chosen to have one last laugh with me. One last real hug.
Every time we saw each other, Grams and I just laughed about who knows what. We would take selfies with each other. She always had to look her absolute best for our selfies. Each time we’d take one, she’d want to see it and then demand another one so that she could pose better. I had to laugh. But could I blame her? I mean… my Grams was one hot commodity. Beautiful when she was old. Drop-dead stunning when she was my age.
I guess that lays to rest the question of who I got my own fantastic looks from. Thanks, Grams.
In all seriousness though, this woman wasn’t supposed to die. There was always supposed to be more time.
I remember a few years ago, I went to her house to help her with some things that only a big tough grandson could help her with. I pulled into her driveway and she was struggling to push a giant crystal or mineral or something into a wheelbarrow. She seemed annoyed when I came and took over. That’s who Grams was. She refused to let age stop her.