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  • Kathryn R. Biel

Waiting is the Hardest Part

I write this as I sit in the hospital room with my grandmother, waiting for her to die.  She is truly at the end of her life, and all there is left for her to do is to pass on.  She is 93.

This is awful.

She never wanted to end up in a hospital bed, unable to move, unable to speak.  We have never wanted it for her.

She has commented for many years that she doesn't know why she is still here.  She has been ready for her heavenly reward for many years.

My grandmother is a wonderful woman.  Stoic is her middle name.  Actually, it's Slavin, but Stoic is a better fit.  She's also tiny, and everyone loves her.  Even in the ER on Sunday night, people were commenting on how cute she was.  Osteoporosis has not been kind and she is about 4'6."  When I would come over to visit, she would say, "Oh good, a tall person is here.  Can you get this down for me?"  She is the only person EVER to refer to me as tall.  Of course, this is after she fell off a ladder at the age of 80 and we yelled at her something good.  I think it was really her doctor giving her a good scolding that really stopped the climbing.

Although Mimere has been fading rapidly over the last several years, she still lived by herself.  She got her hair done every Friday and scheduled her dentist appointments routinely every 4 months.  She adored my children.  They (along with her other great-grandchildren) have brought her joy and a reason to live over the last 7 years.

I feel proud that I can be with her now.  That I've been able to help her out in the last 8 years.  She is one of the primary reasons that Pat and I moved back to this area.  I never dreamed that I would live on the same street as Mimere.  It's going to be hard to drive by her senior building and know that she's not in the apartment.  I can't believe she's not going to see Jake and Sophia dressed up for Halloween.  I talked to her about their costumes just on Friday.  Every year, even though I told her I was making the costumes, she would forget, and then be shocked to see the costumes and realize that I made them.

She loved the fact that we named Sophia after her (Sophia Dorothy).  It made her cry.  It is one of the few times I have seen her cry.  Such the polar opposite from my mom and I, who cannot not cry to save our lives.  We're a mess. 

I wish I could have Mimere forever.  But I know that her time is here.  We've all said our good-byes.  She just needs to drift off.  We know Heaven awaits her.  We have faith.  More importantly, she has faith.

So here I sit, waiting.

Yesterday, while she could still speak, she told her pastor, "It's been a wonderful life."

She told me, "I've had a good life."  And then she kept repeating, "I love everybody."

We know Mimere.  And we love you too.

The entire family (minus one great-grandchild) at my house in July. Yesterday, Mimere said, "That was a good day. It was so good to see everyone."

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