Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Losing Grace.

We all have a moment we know is coming, but we dread it just the same. Mine, for a long time, has been watching a woman who meant the world to me disintegrate into blood and bones and very little brain matter, until she just wasted away. Seeing this so often in my daily life, I could barely stand to think of it happening to someone I loved so much, and admired, and looked up to. Fortunately for me, this did not happen. My Grace died the way she lived her life. In control. Poised. And funny. My last days with her, she knew who I was and joked as usual. Sure, I could see in her eyes that she knew the truth. Still she spent every minute being brave, accepting her dark situation, and I dare say, she was ready. She told me one day on the phone, full knowing she was not going to live much longer, "I'm ready, I'm not afraid." I was. I was very afraid. Afraid of what my life would be without this light in it, this safe haven that I have run to again and again in the past few years, this voice of reason and comfort that was always there, no matter what the circumstance. Yes, I was afraid. Once again, truly fortunate, I had warning, a chance to say what I needed to say, to tell her I loved her and kiss her and say goodbye without saying goodbye. Because tears, well, those weren't allowed. So I saved those for when I was alone and I kept my brave face on as much as I could. Because that's what Grace did. When she died, I was home, sitting at my computer, doing something unimportant, I'm sure. But something caught my eye, a glimmer of wings at the back window. When I looked up, a hummingbird hung at eye-level, looking in at me. It held my gaze for several seconds. And I knew. Less than ten minutes later, my phone rang, Mom calling to tell me that Grace was gone. Like she had to tell me anything.

Grace taught me many, many things for which I will be forever grateful. She loved animals, treated everyone with respect and when needed, provided some with "humorous" redirection, never failed to tell anyone what she thought and I never saw her ever be mean (although, she did let me know she wasn't a fan of parsnips. Then she ate mine.) She loved her family, she loved dogs and she certainly made my mother the woman she is today. I miss her all the time, but I know as much as I know anything, her energy lives on, because I feel it inside me. I feel her with me all the time, and I hope I make her proud.

I'll miss her every day. But, as long as I have a dog by my side and a smile in my heart, she's here. 

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful tribute to a wonderful woman. Thank you, Lisa.


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