Tuesday, December 4, 2012

where earth and heaven meet

Written two days after Grandma passed away. Needed time to process my thoughts...

December 6, 2005

Today is grandma and grandpa’s 52nd wedding anniversary. Beautiful.

So I take a trip down memory lane seeing grandma all bundled up at Thanksgiving dinner with her red sweater. Thinking that she’s finally gaining weight, I hoped her new leg would help her walk batter. I remember her hugging me. Pulling me close to her. It would have been one of her last physical hugs for me. We laughed all night at the dinner table about how grandpa and her dated. We had a sharing about what we’re thankful for and she said, “Don’t pray too long, God will get sleepy.” That’s her blunt humor. She thanked grandpa for growing in the Philippines but rooted in America or else we all wouldn’t be here. Then after we left, she got sick and went to the emergency room.

I didn’t visit her until Sunday afternoon. I was there for twenty minutes. We received communion together that day. We shared the body of Christ because she said it was too large for her to swallow one whole host that time. She asked me if I had gone to mass, where, and what time. She asked me this three times. Her confusion worried me, but this wasn’t the first time this happened. I thought she was either overreacting, being over dramatic or heavily medicated. I remember being sad but being so used to it that I figured she’d be out soon enough. She asked to kiss me. “Come here so I can kiss you.” My last…

I heard that on Monday she was just looking at people not really responding.

I visited her on Tuesday where her eyes were closed and she was trapped in her body. I’d talk to her and she’d turn her head to me, but she wouldn’t open her eyes let alone her mouth.

Wednesday was worse. No one knew why she was the way she was. No stroke. Negative CAT scan and MRI. No one knew what was wrong.

Thursday just another visit. A possible bacteria infection. She was no longer able to turn her head. She squeaked as if whining because she didn’t want to be there. She tried to open her eyes. She was just too weak. She could no longer breathe well on her own, so it was agreed to put her on a ventilator. Later we find out that she didn’t want to be on it. The family decided to take her off of it on Sunday, so everyone came on Saturday to hang out with her and say good bye. We were all there, and it felt good. I feel so safe with my family. I feel complete. A piece of heaven was with me.

On Sunday, at mass, I felt so blessed to be a part of the Catholic Church. I felt as though I belonged. A part of the mystical body of Christ. I love it! Being the second week of Christmas/Advent, the gospel and theme was “prepare the way”. I believed that grandma lived out these words. Her whole life was lived for Christ. She prepared herself for her entering heaven all her life. I truly believe that.

We go to mass then went to Good Sam. No improvements.

We scheduled to remove her from the machines at 3PM.

We got upstairs and prayed. The next thing I know, the nurse told my dad that her heartbeat was weakening so to call everyone upstairs. She’d give us 15 minutes and then take grandma off the machines.

Because of the guilt that comes with taking grandma off the machine, everyone prayed for God’s will to be done, and we wouldn't have to.

And it was.

At 240P, grandma’s heartbeat started weakening. Her breathing slowed down. I held her hand as we prayed the Divine Mercy and sang How Great Thou Art. It was the weirdest feeling. I was desperate for more of her at the last second. I wasn’t ready to let go. When grandma stopped breathing, my heart broke. I lost a part of it. She had entered Heaven. It was the weirdest feeling. So light, fuzzy, light headed. It was weird. My stomach felt weird. My heart felt weirder. It’s like I saw it, yet it felt liked I dreamt it. But I was so excited for her. She made it into heaven: a place where she could run and be at peace.

Everything felt weird after that. I won’t see her every weekend. She won’t call me on my birthday. It just feels weird that I’ll never see her on earth anymore.

But she gets to be with her parents, Itay, Raphael, Michael, and Bernadette. She gets to be with Uncle Roland. Now she can be with Jesus and Mother Mary. She can be with all her favorite saints, Mother Theresa, and Blessed John Paul II.

She’s so blessed.

Her prayers are so much stronger now. I told her to put in a good word for me with God.

So that’s it. And now it’s just weird. My last Christmas and birthday gift from grandma is a ticket to the Philippines. Lord, let it be Your will that I stay there for Christmas. Please, Lord!

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