Life isn’t fair.
I know that.
However, saying goodbye is never easy whether it be goodbye for now or goodbye forever. Even goodbyes by choice are hard, but it is even harder when it is without choice and happens so fast. Within a month of finding out Dottie had cancer we are saying goodbye.
I may not call Dottie, Grandma, but she has been my grandma for the last 20 years of my life. I hope that she knows that even though I didn’t use the title it doesn’t mean I didn’t feel it. She was not only willing to treat me like a granddaughter, she also is the only reason I still have my grandpa in my life.
He would have never lived this long if he hadn’t married her. She saved him. She also saved my relationship with him many a times over the years. I am far too much like my grandpa. We are both bullheaded and so we get into a lot of dumb arguments and she always tries to balance us out.
She did more than that though. When Dottie and my grandpa got married 19 years ago I also gained some other amazing people in my life. I gained 2 step uncles, a step aunt and two step cousins. While I have since had to say goodbye to one step uncle I have gained two cousin-in-laws.
I think a lot of my grief with this situation is not only stemmed at losing the only grandma I have ever had a good relationship with, but also the fear that I will lose the only extended family I have ever been close too. My mom’s family lives in Texas and Oregon so I have never had the chance to get close with them.
I consider J & T my cousins and it will be weird not seeing them at holidays. I know we will stay in touch and I vow that Jessica and me will stay as close as ever, but I don’t know that we will do extended family holidays anymore. I hope we do, but my dad & Steve were already adults when they became stepbrothers so I don’t know that they gained as much from it as us kids did. I hope they prove me wrong because I don’t want to lose more than one person just because half our connection is gone.
(A little background Dottie & my grandpa were both widows, but I don’t have much memory of my Grandma Shirley b/c I was so young and similar situation for J & T with their Grandpa Charles.)
As much as I don’t want to lose her, after seeing her tonight in the Hospice Care I know that it is time to let go so that she isn’t in pain. I love you Dottie. Thanks for showing me the love of a grandma even when I didn’t recognize it. My last memory of you that I will choose to remember is you asking me to spike your Pepsi last week. You were still Dottie then. My fav memory will probably be last year driving you home from Jessica’s wedding when you took the song lyrics on my cd so literal that I couldn’t stop laughing about what you were saying!
Please if you read this say a prayer for Dottie to know how much she meant to all of us and go in peace without anymore pain. Pray that my grandpa holds strong through all of this pain of losing a loved one and trying to say goodbye. Pray for my extended family as they will be grieving their mom/grandma. Pray that our families find a balance of still being a family without part of the connection.