It was only three months ago.
But here I am again.
The hallways, lit with night lights, are silent.
Every now and then a bell rings, someone needs turning or a drink.
The nurses come in “have you noticed any changes?.. Is she showing any signs of anxiety?… Do you think she’s comfortable?”
Nothing’s changed. She hasn’t moved.
If anything her breaths might be further apart. My heart begins to sink, sometimes… Is she going to take another breath?
So far she has. But how long can her body go on.
Her lover’s on one side, her daughter, the other, and I in the window seat. Sitting and observing. Just being.
We won’t leave you Nana. We’re here for a sleepover. The mattresses are down. We’ve got pillows. We’ve got blankets. You’re not alone.
We’ll do everything we can for you. Just like you always did for us.
I’ve got your cuddly rug, keeping me warm. The one you bought all those years ago. My special one for when I came to your house. The one I would snuggle with on the couch as you kept busy treating me like a princess. You’d run the bath and turn my electric blanket on. We’d watch a movie, or a Daniel O’Donnell DVD - because we all know that you were his biggest fan and it would be rude not to share that love with your grand daughter, right? Well, I’m glad you did nan. He’s not too bad. :) in fact, we’re listening to him right now. A calming quiet voice singing well known hymns and songs that all ring bells because you played his music so often.
"I love you Nana"
You move your mouth as though you’re trying to speak.
"I know you love me, too, Nan"
You turn your head towards me, as if to affirm what I just said.
It’s 2.46am and I only slept for 4 hours last night but I just don’t feel tired. My heads a little achey and my eyes a little sore but my eyelids just don’t want to close. I don’t think I’m ready to let you go yet. I knew this time was going to come but it seems to have crept up so fast. I know I need to let you go. You need to rest.
It’s now 4.52am and I still haven’t slept. I’ve just been sitting here with you, holding your hand so you know that we’re close by. I’m wearing one of the rings you gave me for my 21st birthday. One that you used to wear all the time. It hasn’t come off my finger in a number of weeks and it’s not going to now. I took photos of our hands. Me holding yours. You holding mine.
It’s nice lying here listening to you breathe. I won’t leave Nana. But when you’re ready, you can go. God is waiting for you. I’ll love you for ever and for always. I’ll tell my children all about you. And when it gets to it, I hope to be the best Nana to my grandchildren just like you have been to me. Thank you for everything you’ve given me, taught me, and done for me.
I love you Nana.