Perspective in life – a dying grandma

Today I think I saw my grandma for the last time. She’s 76 and last week they found two cancerous tumors. The doctor gave her one month to live. I don’t live in the same city as her but I made arrangements to fly to visit during her birthday – I am so glad I did.

I have to go back to my life, and move on – life is weird. I wish I could stay longer – I probably could, but I miss my two young kids, my wife, and while I don’t miss work, I need to go back and work. I could probably take time off but I don’t know how that would affect things. I’ll probably try to fly back with my oldest daughter to give her a kiss.

I lived with her and my mom for a year when I was 9 or so, but I vaguely remember that year. Throughout my childhood I did spend a lot of time with her when I was younger and she taught me how to play poker, cards, and boardgames. We used to play Nintendo together and we would fight to see who was better. However, then we moved away from where she lived and from 10 to now I haven’t spent a lot of time with her.

I was not close with my grandma – primarily because we live far and I have a busy life.  I am also at fault for not making more of an effort to visit her. Life gets in the way – but the older I get I realize we get in the way of life.

My mom of course loves my grandma and has dropped everything to be by her side until her last days. I admire that. Sometimes I think I’m cold hearted and I’m afraid I wouldn’t be able to do that. I hope not – my mom expects it. But hopefully we’re far far away from that day to happen – and when it does, I will drop everything to spend time with her. WHY? Why wait until they are sick to spend time with them? Why not do it when they’re healthy and alive?! —> Point to self – spend more time with those you love.

I love my grandma – she was so happy to see me and the rest of the family – she’s accepted her fate and now wants to spend time with those she loves. We have family flying in from different parts of the world to say our goodbyes – and for that I’m thankful for her and all of us. Some are not so lucky – they just go and never get to say their last thing to their loved ones.

My last question to her was – should I quit everything and spend time with my kids to travel the world. She said – “Yes – you won’t regret spending time with your kids wherever you are”. I told her my concern about my kids not being in school – and she quickly said: “They can study via the internet”. How have things changed.

I wish I would have asked her what was one of her regrets, but I did not want to get her upset, so I didn’t ask.

I know this is a blog of happiness, hence the title of “Our Happy Lives”, but I am happy. I am happy I got to hug her, kiss her, and celebrate her 76 birthday with her and family. I am happy to be able to get advice from her – and to put life in perspective.

I will miss her – her laugh, her competitiveness with boardgames and videogames, and her love for my mom.

I will try to visit her one more time – so my daughter can give her a hand massage with creams and give her some happiness. I hope we make it in time.

When I told her if I could bring my 4 year old daughter, my grandma was concerned she might get scared with all the oxygen wires and medicines around – I told her it would be OK – she was happy at the thought of having her visit.

Make the effort to spend time with those you love – you never know when you won’t have that opportunity again. And remember – it doesn’t have to be physical time, we have technology now that can make you feel you’re with them when far. Use it!

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