Do you ever have one of those moments when you realize that you should have done something important, but now it's too late?
I had one of those moments this morning. My Mom called this morning at 7:18am, that's really early for anyone to call my house, much less my Mom. I was laying in Alexis' bed with her, getting her settled after she had gotten her arm stuck between her mattress and the railing on her bed. I knew before I even got back to our room who had called and why.
I asked anyway just to confirm what I feared. Lucille, my step-grandma, had passed away this morning. Lucille was married to my Grandpa Gaugel (my Mom's dad) after my Grandma died in 1983. She was the only grandma I can remember, although I never called her grandma, she was always Lucille. She never had any children of her own from her first marriage, so children and grandchildren weren't necessarily her thing. Still, she's a member of our family and I'm sad that she passed and I will miss her.
Lucille has been in and out of the hospital a lot over the past year and we knew her health was deteriorating fast. She had been in the hospital for the past week and one of the doctors gave her 2-3 weeks to live. They were preparing to send her home with hospice to die. She had seemed to be doing better at the end of last week, still not well obviously, but not struggling for each breathe as she had been. (She had some cancerous spots on her lungs and it was getting harder and harder for her to breathe even with oxygen assistance.)
It had been awhile since our last visit to see her, so I knew we were going soon, we just didn't make it soon enough.
I regret that I didn't make the time to run down and see her yesterday when I had the chance. Now, I'll never have another chance to see her on this earth.
I regret that I didn't get over to see her more often when she was still alive. I don't regret that I started going to see her with my children and how much she enjoyed getting to meet and know them. I do regret that it took me having kids to make visiting her a regular thing.
I regret that I didn't make an effort to visit her more regularly after I moved away from the area. (Bonne Terre/Farmington) I regret that even though I didn't make enough time to visit her, I could have picked up the phone and called her more often.
While I do have regrets, I am glad that she is no longer struggling for each breathe. She is once again whole and she is now with my Grandpa and Jesus. And I can rejoice knowing that I will get to see her again someday.
I'm trying to explain death and dying to Alexis, but she doesn't really understand. Any words of wisdom from someone who has had to explain a family member dying to a young child?
Lucille meeting Alexis - June 2007
Visiting with Lucille - May 2009
Lucille meeting Isabel - November 2009