I remember Friday, 25 January 2013 like it was yesterday. I had stayed with Nan for her final few days; it was getting harder for her to breathe, she was on full oxygen. Hospice came with Ativan to help with the anxiety that is felt closer to death. I probably could have used that Ativan too. It felt so weird sleeping in Nan’s bed without Nan by my side. I didn’t sleep well, I kept going downstairs and checking on her. I would often hug her and lay by her side for a bit. I was so afraid of finding her dead. Yet, I couldn’t abandon her; she cared for me my entire 23.5 years of life at that time and I wanted to take care of her in her final days.
It was evident that she was going to pass on the 25th. She was holding on because of me; hospice recommended that I say my goodbyes and spend time with friends, my parents agreed. I spent time with Christine and I felt so blah throughout the day. I remember crying as I said my goodbye to Nan. I walked outside, to her red porch, snow falling down, dad behind me. He was going to drop me off at the P&W.
The next morning when I came home from Christine’s, I was on the red porch again, in the bright sun. Nan’s house empty since she died on the night of the 25th. It felt surreal and I felt so numb.
10 years. I miss you more and more each day. I wish you were here to meet David, you would love him. I wish I could verbally tell you how much joy, laughter, and light he brings into my life. I wish I could tell you all about the Public Defender’s Office and how well I’m doing. 10 years ago I wish you could have watched me graduate from WCU in December 2013, now I wish you were here for a possible wedding (David is talking about it) in the future. I wish I could experience life with you again. I know that you are watching over me and smiling. I love you and miss you.
One thought on “Nan’s Remembrance Day: 10 Years Later”
Hi, Jessica Marie!
Thanks for letting us know that the day has finally come, the ten year anniversary of one of the saddest events of your life and one of your greatest losses, a date on the calendar that brings back painful memories of the day you lost your loving Nan. She was to you an unwavering beacon, your guiding compass for the first 23+ years of your life. Thanks for sharing the pictures taken with Nan on Halloween in 1991 when you were a wee toddler. Yessum, it is a shame that Nan is not here to meet David and share the joy he brings you. However, “If you believe in forever,” as the Righteous Brothers sang, then you must believe that somehow she knows, she sees and she is happy for you.
How appropriate that you picked the song “If I Ever Leave This World Alive” by the LA-based Irish-American Celtic punk band Flogging Molly, a track from their March, 2002, album Drunken Lullabies. It’s an uplifting song that offers hope and helps you heal.
As the song says, you will be alright. Nan wants you to be strong and knows you have it in you to mourn for a while and then let go of the heavy feelings, at least for now, at least until next January rolls around. I know that you will continue to honor Nan’s memory through kind words and deeds throughout the year.
My thoughts are with you, dear friend JM.