There comes a time when reality hits and you finally accept that the people that you love most of all will not live forever. It's a horrible feeling, but it's not like you can change things. But you can ask for "that moment" that will stay with you forever.
My first "moment" was with my grandfather. He was a quite man who always had a twinkle in his eye when ever I saw him. For a long time, he was the man I could depend on in my life. I remember the final time he went into the hospital. As I drove to see him, I prayed for one more day with my real grandpa, not the shell he was becoming. And one day, I got it. He was happy, talking more than I had ever heard him talk, and full of life and peace. I remember as I was driving home thanking God for honoring my request. After that day, I continued to visit the man, but the person was slipping away. But that day, the moment I asked for, has never left me.
My grandmother, on the other hand, has given me many moments. That moment where she is near death and you feel special to be part of that moment. But this woman has a mind of her own. I have said goodbye more times than I can count, but another "moment" always seems to be in her future. But it doesn't make it any less precious--because I never know when it might be the last. Our most recent moment was my favorite. She has long suffered from dementia. She doesn't really know who I am, but she looked at me like she knew she was supposed to know me. She didn't know me, but she asked if I knew "her Kasey." She told me stories of "her Kasey" and let me know how special "her Kasey" was. Of course, I was "her Kasey." Somehow hearing her talk about me as if I wasn't there was even more special. And when she talked about the angels that were in the room and the friends that were above her bed waiting for her, well I thought for sure this was my final moment with her. She was discharged from the hospital the following day. I guess we have another moment still to make.
Today was another moment, but with a different grandmother. Some would consider her "just a step-grandmother" but she was a grandma to me. She is a tough as nails, no one tells me what to do kind of woman who has a soft side that you can see, but only on rare occasions. It's been a rather rapid downhill slope. But I also believe that's what she wanted. I went tonight to say goodbye. But I got another moment. A moment where she couldn't really communicate, but I felt like she understood me. She understood me when I told her I loved her and thanked her for being a grandma to me. I held her hand. She seemed to calm down. I even thought I heard a laugh here and there. I stayed at her bed until she went to peacefully to sleep. Then I kissed her and told her to do all of this the same way she lived her life--do it the way you want.
I'll go back and see both grandmothers, but it's greedy to ask for more than what I have already gotten. Because in each of these moments, I am granted moments of complete and utter peace. And while I am trying to be there for them, it's really these people that I love comforting me in their own way. And these moments will live in me forever.
May I always have the strength to be there for those I care about when they need me most. If I can do that, I am the person receiving the gift. I get those moments that change my heart and make me want to be a better person.