I shouldn’t have been surprised when she passed away.
Even those last few days as her body slowly began to shut down, her hands held mine.
Her hands, wrinkled and creased, represented a life well lived. A life embraced fully.
These hands, that still squeezed mine as she lay in the hospital bed, were the steady hands that guided me as a child as I learned to ride a bike. These were the hands that applauded patiently, as I spent hours riding up and down the street. These were the hands that cleaned up my grazes when I got a bit too confident and lost my balance.
As I grew up, and life became full of work, commitments and responsibilities, these were the hands wrapped around a coffee cup—always there, waiting for me, listening eagerly to my latest stories and experiences.
Grandmothers have a way of making you feel as though they have been waiting all day to see you and at last, at your presence, their day is now complete.
The simplicity of unconditional love from a grandmother serves to remind us of what is important in life and yet how quickly with our day-to-day commitments and challenges, we can forget.
I shouldn’t have been surprised when my Nana passed away; she was 86 years old. But I always assumed she would be there. Nana would be at my wedding, she would meet my children and our time together would be endless.
It was only during those last few days, as I held her rough, tired, old hands in mine, I began to realize that this was the end of my beautiful Nana’s life here on earth and I needed to be with her now. I didn’t need to be in the office; I needed to be by her side, supporting her as she had always done for me. I didn’t need to cram that extra meeting into my day; I needed to hold her hand.
The intensity and infinite humanness of this precious moment was the only one I needed to be paying attention to.
My Nana’s hands began to cool, but I kept holding them. These were the hands that had supported me, eased me with their touch and loved me fiercely through my 27 years on this earth. Love was in that final moment of immense vulnerability.
I don’t know this earth, this life, without my Nana, but my future is in my hands and I know her spirit lives on within my heart and my soul. I will feel her cheering me on, just as she did when I would ride my bike up and down the street.
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Assistant Ed: Michelle Margaret/Ed: Bryonie Wise