(I don’t know how I should feel.)
I have unfortunately spent the evening with my grandparents-next-door in the emergency room, where Jean was taken earlier today. I wouldn’t of rather spent my evening any other way. (Well, maybe except for the fact that it was a tearful, intense time spent at the hospital, and I would have really preferred not to have this situation exist.) But what I really mean to say is that I would not have rather spent my evening with any other two people.
(Should I be glad I was able to spend this time with them now? Or will I one day – too soon – grieve over this closeness I have built with them?)
These grandparents of mine just can’t catch a break. They trust that what God has in store for them is what is meant to happen, but that can only provide so much comfort. Her dementia is worsening every day – on top of other health issues that come with old age – and his cancer is creeping back up around the corner.
(Should I be glad that she doesn’t remember the seizures she had earlier today? Or should it sit heavy with me that she’s so far gone that she can’t remember this morning?
They didn’t expect me to come, they didn’t know I was on my way, yet they didn’t seem surprised when I did. My mom told me ‘It’s not necessary. There will be a lot going on, you don’t need to go.’ But of course I went as soon as I heard.
(What is my place in this situation? Should I listen to my heart, or others?)
I sat with them, and switched from holding her hand and holding his, while their hands held together did not separate once. I watched as he tried to comfort her and explain to her what was happening. I watched him try to explain to her that he might be the one in the hospital bed next. I watched him fear, love, laugh, weep, regret, lose, remember. I watched him be truly alone because as much as we would all like her to, she doesn’t know what he’s really saying. (I wish that she could just pretend so that we could save him from this heartbreak.)
(Should I have looked away? Should I not have let my own tears fall?)
I watched him hold her and kiss her. I heard him tell her that if they’re together than everything’s okay. That they’ve had 61 years together and that’s a pretty good run.
“You’re my girl Jean. You’re my girl. 61 years and you’re my only girl.”
(Should I feel hopeful and comforted by knowing that such intense, true love exists? Or should I be terrified and apprehensive because I can see how real this heartbreak is?)
If only their love could conquer everything. Love sadly doesn’t triumph disease.