Thursday, January 7, 2010

So, Now What?

So, some of you already know that my uncle died. After all the confusion has died down, I know now that my mom's brother, grandma's only remaining child, died in the hospital Tuesday morning after a strange episode where he threw up blood on the roof he was working on and then came down only to collapse and lose consciousness. Are you with me so far? I don't really know in what sense he lived until Tuesday morning, whether it was by respirator or hanging by a thread, but that is what they tell me he did, so I will just go with it. Either way, he is gone and my grandma is devastated.

Let's back this train up a few cars...Grandma's first child was carried to term and thought to be a healthy child. Everything was going according to schedule, but it turns out that grandma needed a c-section and an attempted suicide was taken care of first. Grandma's baby died inside of her. In my mind, that is enough pain for any one person to EVER have to endure.

Moving ahead, she is blessed with a son and then a daughter, within about 18 months of each other. I would have to guess that it wasn't always easy, but that she was happy. She is a fairly mild mannered lady and was a great grandma to me and my kids too! Her children's dad was not worth the cloth he was made of, but her kids made her happy! Her son, my uncle Michael and her daughter, my mom, grew up quickly, as all kids do.

All to early, her daughter had me and then my 4 siblings. Grandma loved us and was good to us, from all that I can ever remember. My uncle moved away and started his life in another state. He soon married and had two sons of his own. He also had a son, whom he never had a life with, for many reasons, but mostly because he was not good to the boys mother. I guess you would say he made the choice. Anyway, life continued on and my uncle and his wife divorced and she took care of their two boys. He was not good to her either. (I believe he had a drug abuse problem for much of his life.) It was sad for us, because we truly loved her! She never lost touch with my mom. She is a very sweet and wonderful person. (I am getting sidetracked!)

Along with all stories of life, there comes death. My 3 1/2 month old niece died and it was really hard on our entire family, but grandma absorbed the shock of this great loss and carried on.

Next, my uncle's oldest son, with whom he had no life, was so distraught over the loss of his friend, to cancer, that he missed a stop sign on his way home and was t-boned and instantly killed. I am sure my uncle was hurt by this, because he did not even know anything about it, until it was over with, as far as funeral arrangements go. He did not make himself available to any of us. We did not even have a number for him. Grandma, who had moved to a neighboring state with her husband, not their father, again absorbed the shock of the loss of a grandchild. During the same time, my mom was battling breast cancer at the age of 42.

The next big loss my grandma endured was the loss of her husband. He had leukemia and died fairly quickly. She was sad and alone. She moved in to my mom's house. She seemed to recover well, from his loss. Being able to be with mom again seemed to make her feel better.

Just about two years later, her worst fears were realized, when my mom got cancer back, only it was in her liver, which is all but incurable. She died in 2007. My grandma was lost. She had lost her husband just about a year before. She was just lost. It was the saddest thing I have ever gone through.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago...
My uncle's ex-wife said my uncle had called her and asked about mom and grandma. She had to tell him mom died, all that time ago. She said he cried. She said he wanted to know about grandma and she gave him grandma's numbers. He did not call. He did not call. He did not have his own number. He had a work number. That was all. So, she could not just call him.

Tuesday morning grandma called me so upset. She was crying so hard. She was so sad. She told me that had died. The weeping of a distraught 75 year old woman who literally lost all of her children is gut-wrenching! It seems wrong. She said she feels like Job. I can see why she feels that way. It just hurts to know she is hurting so much!

So, what is one to do, when it feels like you are blessed to have lived 75 years and cursed to have lived to see your children die? Persevere, that's what! She is doing her best. My sister and I got her out yesterday, because she needed to do something. Once she accomplished what she had on her list, we took her out for a little mindless "shopping" and enjoyed the time away from reality.

Today she has called me a few times to tell me what is going on with the "arrangements." None of us can afford to have him transported, so he must be cremated. He will be returned to grandma at some point. His boys and his ex-wife, a.k.a. Aunt Jackie, will come and see us and we will have a memorial. The really sad thing is that their youngest boy just graduated from high school and is starting his second semester of college. He never really knew his dad. What must he be thinking? What about the older son? What does he think? How does he feel? I am sorry for them too. It all makes me sad.

I know this is long. I am sorry that I poured my brain onto the page, but this pain is not simple to swallow. I have lost too many family members, almost all to cancer. I am tired of it. I am sickened by it! It is really hard to deal with and I don't need help being crazy!

I hope you are doing well. I hope your new year is starting off the way you had hoped.

Jamie

3 comments:

Christina said...

Ah sweetie. I'm so sorry. I can feel the pain, frustration, and sadness pouring out. I'm here to listen, hugs Momma.

Marcia said...

Your poor Grandma. She's only 4 years older than my mom. What huge losses in her life so far. (((hugs)))

Snot Head said...

May not make sense, but it is comforting for my brain to have this all laid out this way. There was just too much confusion. I hate that it all ended up this way. Wish there was an explanation, but I'm glad we can at least get her out of the house every now and then.