Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Can't believe I'm writing this...

I feel like I have to write this, but writing it will make it real. And I can't believe it's real yet.

This is adapted from an e-mail I sent my sorority sisters on Monday:

I know most of you already know... but I lost my Grandma Stratton this weekend.

We were at the lakehouse on Friday when we got the call that she had been admitted to the hospital the day before, didn't fully wake up on Friday and was in a coma-like state. We hightailed it to Fort Wayne; it was a blessing that we were close enough to make it there within an hour. Jay and Katie arrived shortly after Mike and I, and my parents got there right when we did. They did a ct scan, but we found out only the next day that she had a perforated bowel and had gone into sepsis. We visited and hoped for the best, and all went to dinner as a family once we learned that she seemed stable. At dinner, my aunt got the call that her vitals were doing very badly and she, Dad, and Grandpa got up and ran back to the hospital. When we got back to the hospital, the decision had been made to take her off the machines. She died later that night at 2:45 AM.

I feel like I have lost a person who was a main constant in my life. She was ALWAYS there for me. She was always on Team April, 100% of the time, without having to be anti-team-anyone-else. No matter what I did, she was proud of me. All of us grandkids felt this way, she made us all feel loved and treasured. I cannot believe she is gone. I cannot believe that this is happening. I cannot believe that she will not be around to make my kids feel loved... to buy them doughnuts and grapes, let them eat all the LifeSavers, and tell them funny stories or teach them how to cook. I feel like I'm in stuck in a bad dream. I have been so lucky thus far related to death and it's toll on those close to me. For this, I am thankful. I am glad that I followed my gut at the family reunion this year, however dumb or rash that it seemed, to tell my Grandma that we plan on naming any little girl we have after her. I am thankful that I got to say goodbye even though I didn't say those words exactly.... I could only get up the courage to say "till next time..." and tell her that she was one of the most amazing women I have ever known.
It was funny, talking to my cousins at the funeral, we realized that each and every one of us thought we were Grandma's favorite. I laughed a bit, thinking of course. It made so much sense to me, and was such a testament to the kind of woman that she was, that all of us felt so treasured, so convinced that we were by far the most important. It's still very hard to think she won't be around.

I'd like to say I'm doing ok. I know that I will be OK someday. But I don't think I'll ever get over the fact that she's not around anymore. It makes me think constantly that I should have visited more, should have called more, should have paid more attention. I always thought there was more time, would be more time in the future to see her. I should have known better. I can at least say that she knew how much I loved, looked up to her, and adored her. And for that I am thankful.

I'll miss you, Grandma.


kara said...

i'm so sorry april. you and your family will be in our prayers.

bow-za said...

I haven't shed a tear since Tuesday, except now. I love you April, more than you know!

Tabatha said...

April....growing up your grandma always made her nieces and nephews feel treasured too. I remember the many outfits she made for me as I was growing up. The many times she would come to Mimi and nandads and make homemade lasagna to freeze so mim could take it out and bake it. She sure was a very special lady who will be missed by all who were lucky enough to have been a part of her life. What a treasure heaven now has.
Love always