I am exactly one year out from the intense-est two weeks of my life. The two weeks I watched my grandmother (and mother) in the hospital before my grandmother died.
(If observing someone process all that is actually of interest, you may visit the archives to read the end of July last year.)
It was a surreal, intense, time, as I was adjusting both to the arrival of my third child and to the idea of losing an important fixture in my life.
When my second baby was born, two weeks after my grandfather died, my grandma spent several mornings a week at my house. She helped me in my goal of allowing my 17 1/2-month-old to continue being a baby.
It was something Grandma felt she denied her own 17 1/2-month-old when her next baby arrived.
She came, and held babies, and swept carpets (my vacuum was too heavy for her), until that amazing day when my baby-baby was 3 months old and I realized I had managed both the children and the house alone. Managed them competently and well.
During those same adjusting weeks with #3, I was calling around for babysitters to watch my girls a couple mornings a week so I could spell my mom, who was now living at the hospital with Grandma.
We always had someone beside her bed, to take care of the myriad of little things a person needs, but someone like Grandma would go without before she called a nurse in for help.
I borrowed a rolling infant bed from the birthing wing, so I’d have a place to lay my miraculously sleeping baby for the hours I was with Grandma.
And Grandma and I would talk. About everything that was on her mind or mine. Talk like we’d done for months before we’d even thought of hospitals.
Only with my husband have I had a deeper communion of thought
with another human being.
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wand’ring bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom:
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.