A Broken Heart

I went to visit my Memaw today. I love her but I hate to visit the nursing home. The smells, the warmth, the sadness is often so overwhelming. Many of the residents sit at the door and watch the visitors coming in, perhaps waiting for a loved one to visit them. I am overwhelmed with sadness when I visit as for many of them this is the end. Their life is dwindling away as the sit and stare out the windows waiting. Waiting. I will admit I do not visit as much as I should. It hurts my heart for days and I cry every time I leave.

My Memaw is spunky, the dementia and other health problems do not get her down…but today some of her spunk was gone. She is so thin, she is not eating and she says everything taste too sweet. She was “swimmy headed” today and she did not eat lunch. So when I got there she was very tired. We talked for a while and she points out that I look exactly the same as a photo she has on her shelf…I tell her I should it was just taken last year at Michael’s wedding. She does not remember Michael at first, I remind her gently he is my brother and her grandson. But at the same time my heart is filled with joy at the knowledge she knows me….she does not remember many people by sight but she knows me. I cannot describe how that makes me feel.
I stayed for about 30 minutes and then kissed her cheek and told her she should rest as she was fading on me. She asked me to stay. How could I not? So I told her I would stay if she would close her eyes and try to rest, she said okay and so she did. But every few minutes she would open one eye to see if I was still there. It made me smile and it made me want to weep.

My Memaw is dying.

As I sat there and just watched her rest it hit me, she is dying. And my heart is breaking. I sat there and studied her face. I love her wrinkles, they give her such character. I tried to memorize every line of her face… And I prayed.

I prayed, but not for healing as I know this is not possible. Instead I prayed for peace and that He would put His arms around her and love her in the midst of her pain and suffering. My heart is broken. Part of me is so happy at the thought of her going to heaven, to see her Savior, to dance with Him, to be free from pain and suffering. To be with the man she has loved for most of her life, my Papa. To be whole. And the other part of me wants her to stay forever, she is my last grandparent. I want her at my wedding, at the birth of my children, I want to see her face light up when I come visit her. I will be devastated when she leaves this earth. We have always had a bond….I am her first grandchild, I lived with her for many years, we have a love of shoes and hats. I am so much like her it makes me laugh to think about it.

I don’t know how much time I have left with her but I will be cherishing every moment we have together.

So tonight I go to sleep with a broken heart. But I know it will not always be broken because the Healer will slowly heal me. But there will always be a small hole where only she fits. And I will be thankful for that hole because it will be a forever reminder of my sweet Memaw.

The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

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3 Responses to “A Broken Heart”


  1. 1 Amy @ My Friend Amy November 11, 2008 at 12:18 am

    Hugs to you! Beautifully written and heartbreaking in itself.

  2. 2 Jen November 11, 2008 at 3:33 am

    I’m so sorry. *hugs*

  3. 3 Maria D. November 11, 2008 at 12:27 pm

    I am so sorry that you have to experience such a sinking feeling as this. I am praying for you. I also pray for peace and encouragement for you and your Memaw.


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