Sadly, Nana passed away on August 6, 2009. The week before she had been kind of sick with flu like symptoms and having a hard time keeping things down. My aunt took her to the hospital on Friday with the hopes that they’d fix her up and send her home. The doctors thought this would be the case. By Monday she was still not doing so well, but was better than before. Steve and I went down to see her that day and while she looked sick, she was still Nana. She was still making jokes and talking like she’d be home by the weekend. At least that’s what we were all hoping. Steve and I decided that we would go home on Monday and come back on Tuesday because we were not prepared to spend the night (we had nothing with us). I would also need to get my computer since, luckily, I have the ability to work from anywhere.
The doctors had her on a breathing mask and had given her a blood transfusion and she was on IV fluids. They think she had a mild heart attack. She also ended up with an infection in her blood.
Tuesday was the day we knew she wouldn’t be home. We took of the breathing mask, which at that point because her oxygen levels were so low and not going up, we knew if we took it off that would be it. There would be no going back and no recovery. My mom and aunt made the decision to take it off because Nana did not want to live with the assistance of machines. At all. The doctors made her comfortable and removed the mask. We thought it would be very quick, that was at 11:30 on Tuesday morning. It wasn’t a quick as we thought it would be. We sat around and told stories and talked to her. There is no way to know if she heard us, but I like to think she did. Mom and I stayed at the hospital Tuesday night until about 4:30. My mom had fallen asleep and I couldn’t wake her up just to make her go to my aunts and go back to sleep. At 4:30 she woke up and we went to my aunts, got a little more sleep, showered, and headed back. Steve and Dad worked on Wednesday and then came down to the hospital afterwards. George called Wednesday and we told him the bad news. He took it very well and was even strong enough to calm me down and make me feel better. My mom put the phone to Nana’s ear and George got to say his goodbyes. I’m really glad he called and got to talk to her one last time. She had JUST received a letter from him the day before she went in the hospital and that madeher whole week. Wednesday night we all spent the night. We told more stories, talked more, caught up, and tried to make the best of what was going to end so very sadly.
Thursday morning we all woke up, put the hospital waiting room back together, got some food and then Steve and I wanted to go to walmart to get some movies for that night since we thought we’d be there again and then go shower. We did that and came right back to the hospital. I didn’t want to leave, but I needed a shower and sweatshirt because it was freezing. My parents went out and grabbed some lunch and sent a letter to my brother and his monthly money. On our way in, we stopped to get some food and went upstairs. I wanted to go back to the room just to tell Nana I was back, but I was starving and she’d want me to eat so I did. A couple bites in, my cousin rushed out of the room in a panic. I knew at that point she was gone. We waited all week and while that was hard, having her actually leave us was the hardest thing I’ve been through since George got arrested.
My parents were minutes from the hospital but Steve called them to tell them. They were pretty much turning in the hospital parking lot when he called. They had JUST left the post office to mail George’s money and it was like Nana knew they had put it in the box before she left. She always did take such great care of us.
We stayed with her for about an hour and cried. The nurses that had been taking such great care of us and Nana all week came in and out to express their sympathy. They were so great. After we left, we went back to Aunt Judis for a while. My parents stayed the night, but Steve and I came home. We had stuff we needed to get done at home and there was nothing for us to do there. Friday I worked from home and went to my parents and gathered pictures for a slideshow (one of those digital frames) we were going to have at the viewing and funeral. That was hard. I cried a lot. There were so many pictures and if Steve hadn’t come over I don’t think I would have stopped. We ran a few errands and then went home. I was so, so numb. I couldn’t believe I had no more grandparents. And that Nana wouldn’t be there when George came home. We went to the neighbors Friday night and it was good to have something to take my mind off of it.
Saturday mom and I went shopping for something for her to wear for the funeral. I had clothes, but she bought me a sweater thing for the funeral home since it gets cold in there. I’m glad I had it. Sunday afternoon we went back to my aunts for the Sunday night viewing. Hardest thing ever. We had a private family viewing that was open casket. I didn’t want to leave her. I wanted to just stare at her and see her face because once they closed it she was really gone. Doug and Ray came for the viewing and the funeral too. I really appreciated that because I really needed the support. Sunday we all stayed at my aunts since the funeral was early on Monday. The funeral service was nice, hard but nice. Mom and Aunt Judi both spoke. I don’t know how they had the strength, but what they said was beautiful. I was a mess. All day long. After the funeral we went for a reception at my Aunts and that was nice. Nana had given my dad some Frank Sinatra Champagne that she wanted everyone to drink at her funeral as a toast to her. It wasn’t great after 30 years because champagne does not age like wine, but it was good. Dad said some nice words and it was really a nice sentiment. Nana would have liked it. I can’t believe that I can bold out #8 – Visit Nana more frequently on my list. I’ve had some really good visits this year and I’m glad we’ve gotten to spend time together and make more memories, but it is still really hard to know that she isn’t here anymore. I miss her every single day and I will miss her forever. She was the only grandparent I really got to know since my others died when I was younger. I know that she’s up there with Great Nana drinking tea and eating black toast. I love you Nana.