Joy and Sorrow – 62 Years

June 18, 2009 by  

Today, I had the honor of visiting Bob and , Gabe’s grandparents, on their 62nd wedding anniversary. This coming the day after and I celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary. It was joyful to see them both on this special day — I mean, 62 years… that’s a long time for two people to be married! Sadly, however, I visited them at Saint Luke’s North hospital. I was there for over an hour, and when I first saw she was in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). She actually looked really good and was very coherent. She called me over and gave me a hug and a kiss and joked with me that I still keep coming around… that they’ve tried and tried to get rid of me but I keep coming back. Of course, she was kidding with me and I knew it. She is such a wonderful, loving person. The entire pretty well took me in as one of their own when I ventured out here to City… they became my away from my , and I have loved spending time with them for the past 10 years. Soon they moved out of the ICU and into a large suite where more than a few visitors at a time could see her…. including all of her great grandchildren.

Today, on what should be such be a day of only joy for Bob and and the whole , is also filled with sorrow, as has requested that no further medical assistance be given to her to try and help her failing heart and kidneys. She is at peace and seemed so happy to have all of her loved ones together to say their goodbyes. Earlier in the day, I am told, she was not very coherent and was having a hard time recognizing people. But not tonight… she knew everyone, hugged and kissed everyone multiple times, and gave everyone some guidance and wishes. For such a weak body right now, she was so strong. She told her son Ed that she is ready to go see her parents and her other two sons who passed years ago… but wanted Ed to understand that it’s ok, and not to be upset with her — she is not choosing them over him. She was telling everyone she will see them again, but now is the time to go see her Maker and her loved ones that have departed before her. Tears were flowing, but so were the smiles. Six great grandchildren were there with her, all at the same time… and she asked each of them to always remember her, and that she will remember them and watch over them. While it was very sombering, it was also the way the day should be… very joyous.

has battled heart conditions since a much younger age. On many occasions that I have seen her over the past ten years, she has seemed frail. But she has always come around. Now, she is ready to move on and end the pain, and she is clearly at peace with it and helping those who will remain behind become more at peace.

Gabe said it best after we left… he is so happy to have seen her like this tonight… in a much better condition than earlier today… and this is how he wishes to remember her forever.

Nobody knows whether tonight will be the night for or if it might be weeks away, but tonight, and her whole and know the love they have for each other, and I am quite certain will have a wonderful journey ahead… one that will be so much harder on those behind than herself.

Happy Anniversary, Bob and . Savor the time left, no matter how short. And have a wonderful journey, . You are a beautiful person. I am honored to have known you and hope you will remember me, too. Today, you taught me a lot about life while in the face of death.

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