Monday, November 29, 2010

A 6 year old's views on life and death

Yesterday afternoon my husband, daughter, and I went to a nursing home/hospital to visit my husband's grandmother. She is 84 years old and has cancer and was just brought there a couple of days ago. It's been a couple of weeks since I had seen her because between Emma and myself having coughs and colds and such...i just didnt want to bring the germs around her already weakened immune system. So, when we walked into the room...I was shocked. She was napping...but she did wake up after we came in. She looked like a completely different woman...she was hard to hear and understand...she looked so hair on her was hard. I don't know if it was the right decision to bring Emma in there too or not...but I have always been upfront and matter-of-fact in my approach to life with i think it was ok. Grandma didn't talk too much when we were there other than to tell me she was thirsty and to try and point out people who were in the pictures hanging around her room. She was having a difficult time though because she said the morphine she's on for pain makes her mind all mixed up. She sat there a lot of the time staring at Emma...just watching her and smiling. It made me wonder what she was thinking actually. I noticed that she had a bad cough as i asked her if she would like a drink of water and she said yes. I grabbed the cup and straw and held it to her lips for her. She was too weak to even bring the straw to her mouth. Over the course of the visit I did this for her a few more times. When we left though I could not stop thinking...what if she gets thirsty again? There will be her cup of water on the table right next to her and she won't even be able to reach out and grab it for a drink. She won't be able to rely on the nurse coming quickly to help her get a drink either. How awful that is....such a basic necessity in life...being thirsty...and there you lie...wanting a drink of water SO BAD and you can't get it. It's beyond sad to see what our lives come to...laying all alone in a strange bed in a strange room....being tended to by strangers who seem bothered and too busy to actually care. We live our whole lives trying to do right and make a difference...trying to love and be loved...trying to do or be a part of something bigger than ourselves...only to end up in a place like that. Don't get me was a really nice place! Lots of flowers, music playing, exercise room, etc. But I know that I would not want to spend my last days on this Earth in some random bed in some random room...taking my last breaths while being watched over by some random woman who only knows me by what is written on my chart. Death is a strange thing.
Anyway, I wanted to point out something else too. Once we got home, I wondered if Emma would make any comments about Grandma and how she looked. Well, no surprise there...Emma asked me why Grandma looked so different today? She wanted to know what happened to her poofy hair and why her face looked the way it did. I told Emma that Grandma has Cancer and the medicine they give you to try and get rid of the cancer will make your hair fall out. She asked me why I asked Grandma how her blood sugars where when we were there. I told her that Grandma also has Type 2 diabetes. Emma said to me, "Well, THAT'S not really fair, Mommy! She shouldn't have to have cancer AND diabetes!" ...................have I mentioned how much i love my child and how she thinks?...................Emma asked me if Grandma was going to die and if she would have to go to another funeral (her other great grandma passed away last february and that was Emma's first funeral). I told her that actually yes...Grandma was probably going to die soon and yes she would be going to the funeral. I told her that I think the people who die would much rather have everyone at their funeral not cry and be sad...I think they would want them to share memories of them and laugh and enjoy the stories. Emma said to me, "I think so too...except if it was like their FAVORITE relative...then they should be able to cry too."
Well, to make a long story short...I think that the world would be a much better place if we all tried to look at things from the same perpective as a kid. We become jaded as adults and tend to forget what really matters and whats really right. I love the fact that I have Emma around to remind me of these things. She teaches me way more than I could ever teach her. She makes me want to be a better person and I could never thank her enough.

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