A little over a year ago, I purchased my first ever Giving Key. I chose the word "inspire."
I was going through some tough times in my life and felt that I needed to take a step back and look at the positives life has to offer. I have my family, a roof over my head, decent health, friends, and a job. But I still suffered with depression and needed some sort of inspiration.
This week I found the most perfect example of the word inspire, and it was within my own family. You see my grandparents have been married for 65 years and as Grandpa's health has slowly declined over the last year, I saw my Grandma take care of him to the best of her abilities. She would tell him that he needed to eat, when it was time to take his medicine, and to be good to my Mom (who would step in for Grandma with the feedings). Grandma was always there by his side helping him.
Last Christmas, as Papa laid in his hospital bed we all gathered around for a cousins' picture. Grandma hopped right up on the bed, and when my Aunt went over to help her she said, "I don't need any help," and sure enough she did not. She did not need any help jumping up there and smiled with her honey as the nine of us grandkids gathered around.
Grandma was determined to make sure that Papa stayed at home in her care and we all wanted it this way. My uncles and Mom would take turns going over to help take care of my Grandpa who was no longer able to do much for himself. We had the wonderful help of Hospice who would come in and help with some of the tasks around the house for my grandmother and would help with caring for Grandpa.
Grandma entered Hospice care herself in June and was not able to help with Grandpa as much as she wanted to, but she was still looking over shoulders and telling him, "Behave Leo!"
Well, I received a message on Friday September 6th that my Grandma was not doing too well. My mom would be spending the night with her and I was coming to see Grandma in the morning. I went over there Saturday morning and within two hours Grandma went to Heaven to be with the Angels. We always knew that she was stubborn because we had a hospital bed set up right next to my Grandpa, and just as my Mom signed for the bed Grandma took her last breath as if to say, "I am not going in that bed."
Papa went into respite hospice care the following Monday so that we could all take care of the arrangements for Grandma and make sure that he was taken care of. We visited him often and on Friday the 13th, he was evaluated by the doctor and given a prognosis: less than a week.
Saturday September 14th we all gathered around and told Papa that it was okay to go and be with his honey, and that we would miss him terribly but that he needed to be with her... But he held strong. Asthe hours wore on, I felt a calling to go back to the hospice. When I arrived at 2am, I greeted Grandpa with a kiss and told him I would spend the night with him. I took comfort in sleeping on the pull out couch next to him and seeing him breathing, but I kept telling him in my head that he should go and be with Grandma. I noticed at one point the nurses come in and change Papa, and they faced him away from the direction that he was originally facing. I fell asleep for another few hours and when I awoke to my alarm, a beautiful sunset greeted me. I got up, went over to Papa, and kissed him on the forehead... He was cold. Papa had fallen asleep and met Grandma, his siblings, and all the people that he had loved. I was so thankful to have been there for him, that he did not go alone. I will be leaving my key in his casket this Wednesday, which is also his 92nd birthday.
The word "inspire" is perfect. I am inspired by my grandparents to find a love like theirs... to cherish someone so much that they are the very reason that you breathe. Sixty-five precious years with one another... three children... nine grandchildren... one great grandchild (on the way), and a love that could not bear to be away from one another for even a week.