When you’re expecting the news and you roll over to check the time on your phone and find five missed calls, you know.
I didn’t think to change the Do Not Disturb feature on my phone to allow favorites to ring through. A month ago, favorites would have rang through but I had changed it again.
Gamma passed away in her sleep sometime around 2am. Dad was called by the hospice nurse and he went to Gamma’s side. I am so grateful he has been so close to her home and was able to visit often.
I’m writing this not for sympathy but for me to put down in words, what? Put what in words? I am numb today. Walking around in a haze. Dad and I spoke on the phone for quite awhile this morning. We agreed we were glad she was no longer in the prison of dementia. She was with Grandpa and Mom and Aunt P and all the friends and family Gamma has lost in her long 89 years on this planet. She’s wanted to be with Grandpa for years and now she is.
Gamma took over when my mom died. She was an excellent second mom. Because of her I have never gone without and she was always available at the other end of that phone when I needed her. She bought me a talking watch in my early blind days so I’d stop calling to ask what time it was, though that always gave her a kick. Like when I called to ask how to boil eggs. She’d chuckle and I could imagine her shaking her head with that sly little grin. “When are you going to remember?” She’d ask. The last couple times I did remember because I had written it down but I called her anyway.
The best year of my life was the year after I was diagnosed with MS. I was in my second year of sobriety, I quit working and it was such good timing because Gamma could no longer drive. I spent an average of three days a week with her that year, going to doctor appointments, grocery shopping, the mall, out to lunch, always out to lunch. Gamma and her strawberry waffles and her bacon extra crisp. Not crispy, crisp. We had so so so much fun. So much fun.
And then Sundays after I went blind, every Sunday at her house, lunch and dessert. Today I will get a fruit pie of some sort. I just need a fruit pie. She loved strawberry rhubarb pie. I brought her one from Village in, cut into individual pieces so she could have a piece at her home.
Just gave my grocery list to B. He’ll call me from the pies. Just need a fruit pie.
He just called and they had strawberry rhubarb. Tears.
I love you so much, Gamma. Say hi to everyone for me ok?