It's Valentine's Day and D and I only remembered this an hour ago after we returned from taking L to the emergency room. Yesterday, after a funeral and family gathering, L hurt his arm. We weren't sure if he fractured or sprained his elbow or wrist so we brought him to the hospital this morning. After a few x-rays, we're still not sure. Some liquid showed up, which means we have to wait another day to see how he moves his arm.
So, we left the hospital and went for smoothies. On our way back to D's grandmother's house, L fell asleep in the car.
"Happy Valentine's Day," I said.
"Oh, yeah, I forgot – with everything going on," he said.
"I know, it's been a tough week."
Really, it has. On Tuesday evening, we received a call from D's mother about his 91 year-old grandmother. His grandmother's health began to fail over the weekend. She wasn't eating or drinking much and her pain level was great enough to require morphine. We planned on driving the three-hour trip to see her early Thursday morning. But, on Wednesday afternoon as a snow storm began, we changed our mind and within an hour or so we packed and drove north.
We arrived at his grandmother's house at 8:30 pm Wednesday night. His grandmother was asleep when we arrived. A mysterious cat came to the back door earlier that morning and cried until the back door opened as if it had always lived in grandmother's farmhouse and therefore always slept in grandmother's bed, which is where he lay when I walked into her bedroom. We held her hand and said goodbye in the hopes that it would not be our last.
She passed away around 2:30 am. We sat with her in room after we woke up a few hours later. The closet door was open. A soft light shown across her face. Grandmother looked calm and peaceful and free from so much suffering from the days, months, and years before.
I didn't plan on telling you about this. Then again, I had to. Hold her. In love. With us. And you.