My moment to say goodbye
|Scooped by Kai Deveraux Lawson|
Grateful I "Got To Be There"
Got to be there
Got to be there, bring her good times
And show her that she's my girl
Oh, what a feeling there'll be
The moment I know she loves me
'Cause when I look in her eyes
I realize, I need her sharing the world beside me…
Got to Be There
Performed by: Michael Jackson
Written by: Elliot Willensky
I had to be there yesterday morning. It was the last time I will ever speak to my grandmother in human life again and although the pain I feel, pierces the deepest parts of my heart, I know her current pain is unbearable. It is for that reason, I jumped on the first plane out of New York's Laguardia Airport directly to San Antonio, Texas. During this final visit I was able to bid her farewell and wish her peace as she transitions to her eternal spiritual life.
Prior to my visit I thought about the things I wanted say to her during our time together. I wanted my words to be as impactful to her in the hours we spoke as she has been in my 26 years of life. I wanted my words to erase her pain and make her laugh as we had done for each other many times before. I wanted her to know not only how much I loved her, but how much she will forever mean to me.
I thought of many memories to share, and jokes to tell and yet when the time came, there were no words that could completely express what I truly felt, in those exact moments. After a few short generic exchanges and uncomfortable laughs, things fell silent. At first the silence made me nervous. I felt like I was wasting precious time. However, after a few moments my mind started to focus on her breaths. In that moment I gained a sense of peace. I realized in her 11th hour I was blessed enough to share her final breaths. Despite the complications of her cancer I was able to reach her in time to say hello, I love you, I'm going to miss you and goodbye. I was able to say thank you for every spanking you saved me from over the phone, and thank you for every prayer you prayed for my health, happiness and success. It was clear my grandma was hanging on to life here for a reason, and whether or not I was her reason for staying here a little while longer, we were able to share this moment.
Eventually the silence dissipated and we began to speak candidly about our memories. As my grandmother lay in her bed, unable to move freely and with not much breath in her lungs, I realized she was still the Ethel, I had grown to love. The best part about my grandmother was her memory. Every birthday, every one time encounter and every moment was filed away in her personal cabinet of memories, waiting for her to pull them for reference at her will. While it was clear the cancer had forcibly gained control of her body Ethel had held on for dear life to her mind, and she made sure to exercise every part of it.
At some point after stifling a few tears, I realized my grandma was watching me. When I met her gaze she smiled so brightly. Her eyes widened and she inhaled deeply so she could give me her best smile. With her right hand she reached for my face and motioned me to lean onto her chest. My grandmother knew I needed her in that moment and even in her pain and sickness she managed to give the little bit of herself, she had left. I needed to know she was ok and that at that moment she was still with me. That gesture meant everything and for the rest of my life I will treasure the memory.
My grandma had always been there for me, and as an adult I am honored to have been there for her in return. I'll forever be thankful for every birthday call, every kind word, every inappropriate joke, every sincere piece of advice, every letter she ever wrote, every picture sent, every embrace we shared and every kiss on my cheek. When my Grandmother passes away I will make it my mission to share her legacy with my children as she had done so with me. I will tell my children stories of my grandmother's journey in this life. How she worked hard so they can live the life they will lead. I will share every sandwich recipe, and every hangover cure, and every homemade pain relief remedy.
I will carry Ethel in my heart and my mind forever. If I can live my life with a quarter of the humility, humor, spirituality, compassion and love that I have experienced from Ethel Ricketts and impact the world as much as she has impacted me, I will be a great woman.