Saturday, May 23, 2009

That Day...

The phone rang at 7am, although at the time I didn't realize it was that early. In fact, the night before Ken had gotten home late and I stayed up to wait for him so I was really groggy. Ken grabbed the phone and it all began. I saw the look of concern and confusion on his face as he listened, then said it was Uncle Bill, and that Nana was in the hospital. I took the phone and briefly talked to him. They were coming over, just on their way to the ferries, and was asking to call someone to stay with Papa. I called Stella to see if she could take Ariel for a bit since I knew she was working later that morning. As I prepared to leave, I stopped. I looked at Ken who was standing at the top of the stairs and said, 'I think you really need to stay home, I don't have a good feeling about this.'

Sometimes I think I really do sense the worst before it happens, and I wish I couldn't at times. I got in the car and started driving and just cried. I was shouting to God that this wasn't it, why now, please don't let it be the end. Then I felt a wave of something I can't describe. Just this voice of calm saying, your 25 weeks pregnant with issues with your blood pressure, stay calm, or they won't tell you anything. I pulled into the hospital ER parking lot and took a deep breath before walking in.

As I asked for where I Nana was, I thought back to the time when I heard she was there with some issues and how I found her laying in bed, embarrassed that I had come to check on her. I was looking into each area, hoping to see that same image... but she was no where. I went to the nurses station and asked where she was. The nurse I talked to just came on duty and when she asked another nurse she said 'oh...' and looked up to see me, and my very pregnant belly. 'I'll get you the doctor,' she said. My heart sank and I knew it wasn't good.

The doctor came out from behind a curtain close to me and I realized the room with all the action happening in it was where she was. I tried to peak in, but the doctor pulled me aside to talk to me, asking questions about who I was etc. I told him about how she had been acting this week and some of her recent medical things that I did know about, which wasn't much. They indicated something about a stroke or heart attack, and when I said her voice sounded kinda slurred this week he seemed to be more certain that was the case.

I don't remember much else except they finally let me see her briefly. The nurse kept going on about what I would see... but I already knew what I was going to see. I saw my mom all over again... laying on that bed, the tubes, machines beeping and basically not the Nana that I loved so much... it was just a body. I took her hand and started to cry again, softly. Her hand was warm, but felt unfamiliar. I knew she was gone, but yet I whispered 'just go Nana, go home... go be with Mom... its ok.'

The nurse came in to take me to a room while they did more tests, and gave me juice boxes and access to a phone for anyone I needed to call. I really can't remember who I called, just at some point during it Stella arriving. By the time we were able to go back in to see her, Pastor Dave was there. I sat by her bed, and tried to think clearly of what needed to happen, and it was then I saw the clock and how early it still was. Time sure goes slowly in these moments.

Dave went over to relieve Ken and Ariel who was with Papa at this point. He arranged finding a place for Ariel to go so Ken could come stay with me, so that was very appreciated. He also was our phone number guy, as Nana had EVERYONES phone number in her directory, and was making many calls for us.

People started arriving as they got word of what had happened. I just remember sitting there as they came, rubbing my shoulders, kissing my head and the hugs. It all was nice, just kinda blurry in my memory really. I kept getting juice or water put in my hands, so I was being taken care of as well as Xander. I kept rubbing my belly thinking it wasn't fair she didn't get to hold him. Nana just loved babies, and was so eager and happy that we were expecting again. Then I thought of Ariel, how was I suppose to explain that her Nana was gone... usually thinking about those things got me crying again.

Aunty Penny and Uncle Bill arrived 1130am and we got an update from the doctor at that point. Basically he went over what had happened. Papa found Nana collapsed on the floor early in the morning. She had no pulse, and the staff at the home had done CPR. The ambulance arrived and they were able to resuscitate her, however the time frame had deprived her brain of oxygen for a certain amount of time, and after the scan of her brain, they saw very little brain activity. Really, it could have been read from the account of Mom's heart attack 9 years ago, just so familiar, almost creepy.

Wasn't too long before Ross and Kailey arrived at the ferry and Ken went to pick them up. Kyle came in from Calgary via plane and both cars arrived at the hospital at the same time. Again it was a flood of emotion. I looked up watching Aunt Penny comfort her sons... and suddenly I felt very alone. I didn't have my mom and my dad was so far away on his retirement trip with Rita. It was then I realized another chain in my family was gone. Nana was so much a part of my life when mom died, I moved in with her and Papa until I got married to Ken. She really was another parent to me, not just my grandparent.

So many friends were coming to see Nana, and even brought lunch for us all. Rose and Maria prepared beautiful sandwiches and treats for us to refuel our energy. I am so thankful for everyone who did something for us in this time. I love my church family, they are amazing. During our lunch outside, Ken was getting up to grab a drink and heard something and looked up. He nudged me and I looked to see 2 eagles soaring above our heads, almost like they were playing. Anyone who knows about the eagle sightings after mom died, knew immediately the significance. Mom had come to greet Nana on her way to heaven. We all sat in awe, and it will be the memory that sums up the day... on a day like this, its comforting to have something beautiful to hold in your mind.

Sometime in the afternoon, everyone had arrived that was coming. People had their moments to say good bye and it was time to turn the machines off. I didn't want to be there, and Ken and I sat in the cafe down the hall. It wasn't long before someone came out to say it was over, she was gone. In my mind, she was gone shortly after 7am when I arrived, but it was official now. Stella and Jack opened their home to our whole family and ordered Chinese food. It was nice to visit and laugh with my cousins and just relax. It was also WONDERFUL to see my beautiful girl. I just hugged her tightly and felt her little arms around my neck. She was happy to see us and showed us the beautiful cookies she made.

By the time we got home, my body felt sore. It felt like I had sun stroke or something. I just was drained, yet I wasn't tired... or maybe I was so tired that I couldn't sleep. I briefly blogged that last entry, just to do something. I crawled into bed, where Ken was asleep with Ariel nuzzled up next to him. I pulled her into my arms and rocked her and cried. It was over... what seemed like the longest day of my life in a long time. I am thankful that Nana went quickly and it wasn't as drawn out as my mom's passing was as it lasted over a few days.

I don't remember what time I fell asleep, but I finally did. When I woke up the next morning to the sound of the phone shortly after 7am, I wondered if it was a nightmare or did it really happen. When I walked to the bathroom and looked in the mirror, I saw my eyes... yes, it happened... now to start the long journey of healing my broken heart. Pray for me... as this is just the beginning of a new path of my life.


tvlover1 said...

I am so very sorry.

You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

SarahRachel said...

Jay- you are so eloquent even through your grief. My heart breaks for you as I read this and I couldn't help but cry for your loss. But I also am encouraged by your faith and the wonderful support system you have. I will be praying for you. Love you.

Kristen said...

Beautifully written. The eagles made me cry. Thinking of you and sending lots of love and hugs!

Tera said...

I wish I could give you a big heart just breaks for you. What a beautiful image of the eagles...May the Lord continue to bring you peace and comfort.

missmarble said...

Jay, thank you for sharing this. Your Nana was so special - we all got to see just a little bit of that in your writings here. I just saw the Facebook photos and the love in them pops right off the page - Ariel brought so much joy to her.

Thinking of you.

Michelle said...

I/We are so sorry Janet and Ken.{huge hugs}
Your writing is so eloquent and I know that your Nana and your Mom are together and watching over all of you.How beautiful the eagles together must have been.

Katrina said...

I'm so sorry.

Brenda said...

Oh Jay, I can't even tell you how sorry I am for your loss. How I would love to be there for you IRL and give you more than the internet hugs and prayers that I can offer. Take care of yourself, girl - we love you!

Karen said...

I am so sorry for your loss. ((HUGS))

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