Monday, October 26, 2009

Wait for You- Toya

Yesterday, I got into my car after church and called my dad who has been in Shreveport, LA for almost a month now since my grandmother went in due to congestive heart failure. A huge weight had been lifted off of my shoulders within the past week as she was alert, talking on the phone and breathing on her own. It was the miracle we had prayed for. So when my dad picked up the phone to give me the latest news, I was in complete and utter disbelief.

Hey baby, it doesn't look like Grandmuffa is going to make it, okay?

"Grandmuffa" is one of the many nicknames we have for my grandmother. It came from my not being able to say the word "grandmother" as a baby and it stuck. As long as I can remember, that is how she has signed every Christmas card, birthday card and email. As my dad started to explain why it looked like my grandmother was not going to make it due to fluid building up in her body and other trauma (which we learned later was caused by a heart attack she had in her sleep), I was still stuck on the not gonna make it part. "Wait, what happened?" I interrupted. I honestly thought that he meant that she wasn't going to make it out of the hospital that day. I didn't think that he meant that possibly soon she wasn't going to be with us at all.

I went on to ask him how he was feeling and he was extremely candid with me. As hard as this has been for all of us, there have been some blessings to come out of this storm. I have seen a lot of growth in my father. While his honesty has been heartbreaking for me at times, it has also helped me know how I can support him. I remember when I asked him if he would like for me to pray for him. He paused and then quietly said "Please". I still don't know how I managed to get any words out after that.

As my dad poured out to me what he was feeling, I started to think that the most important thing to me was that he was not mad at God. I feel that God has been so gracious in giving us time to wrap our minds around the possibility of my grandmother not surviving. Some people don't get that chance. I remember when Kanye West's mom died unexpectedly. He was on the other side of the world. I can't imagine getting that kind of news and then having to fly sixteen hours with that weighing on your heart. God has been so good. My father agrees. We talked as if we knew that this might be it as he headed back to the hospital and he asked me if I was okay. "Yeah, I'm alright." "I don't want you to be by yourself. Go find someone to talk to if you need to."he said. I explained to him that I was just about to meet someone for lunch so I wasn't going to be alone. However, I know myself. I hate crying in front of people so there was no way I would be going through with my lunch date. We said our goodbyes and I sat in the car stunned. I text my apologies to my lunch date and asked if we could postpone. She sympathetically agreed and I remained in the car.

As much as I hate to cry in front of people, sometimes I can only cry in front of people. It can take me days to cry about something sometimes. I feared that if I sat there, it may have been an hour before I would let myself cry. I looked up and saw my friend, Jay walking towards his car that was parked directly in back of mine. Looking back I can say that Jay was the perfect person for me to see at that moment. I didn't have to explain anything to him. I didn't have to try and be strong. I just needed to be honest. Without thinking twice, I got out of my car and walked towards him.

"Jay, my grandmother is dying".

He hugged me and I started crying. I hadn't cried about this whole ordeal not one time. I sometimes think that crying shows a lack of belief. I know that's not true but for me, that's just how I try to keep my head up to keep on believing. Sometimes I just refuse to let myself be sad. The strange thing is my body doesn't always feel the same way. So when I finally do cry, it is the harshest, most ugly cry EVER(to me). Hence, why I don't often cry in front of people.

We moved over to the sidewalk and I began to tell him what my dad told me. My dad said that after she had her latest crisis, she told him to not try to revive her if it happened again. She was tired of being in pain and wanted to go on and be with Jesus. I then told Jay something that I thought I would never admit out loud. "You know, this is going to sound awful but I hate this world right now. I really do. It's just not getting better so if she wants to peace out, I don't blame her." I told my grandmother that since she said she was going to make it, I was going to hold her to that. However, if she decided otherwise, I will stand with her just the same. It's just more important to me that she doesn't give up out of fear or out of feeling she is being a burden to anyone. I later talked to my mother who mentioned that outside of birthing my dad and uncle and simple out-patient surgery, my grandmother has never had a hospital stay ever. She has always been healthy and fiercely independent. She has always taken care of everyone else. So having so many people taking care of her is probably something that she is having a very hard time dealing with.

After saying thanks and goodbye to Jay, I went home, climbed into the bed and stared at the ceiling. "You know," I said out loud to God, "that's Your child. Whatever You and Annie decide on is alright with me. Bottom line, you know what's best. Even if she doesn't want to be here, You have the final say. Yall work it out." Of course I want her to be here for all of my life's coming adventures. I want her to be here to laugh at how hilarious my father is going to act when I get married. I want her to be here so we can talk more about our shared appreciation for Adam Rodriguez (who she has far been hip to longer than I have), and other things we can talk on the phone about for hours. As much as I want her here, only God knows about the long run. I have had to do a lot of releasing these past few weeks. Not just with my grandmother but with other people close to me in my life. Sometimes we try to keep people so close to us. When I get to heaven, God is not going to ask me how I managed to keep up with Tia, my parents, my brother, and grandmother; My fears of letting go and letting life happen has no control over anyone. As much as I love my grandmother, she has her own relationship with God. She loves Him and I don't doubt that He not only loves her but is absolutely tickled by her. I am a firm believer that while God loves all of us, He may not like everyone. But Annie? He likes her lots. She's comedy.

Presently, my grandmother is stable and so are we. She is not in pain and for the most part she is comfortable. I didn't think she was going to make it past yesterday but then again, who am I? I have absolutely no idea what God and Grandmuffa have going on. And judging by what my she has shared with my father, something is definitely going on. I am so proud of my grandmother, best girlfriend, hero, and role model. She has always been a model of what a true strong lady does in good times and bad. While we love her so much, God loves her more. Whatever she and God decide, I am grateful either way.

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