Just a little background before I get to the story at hand. My grandfather (Papa) died on August 19, 1999. He had been on dialysis for 4 years and died in the hospital of heart failure. On Tuesday, August 17th, he told the doctor that he didn't have but about 2 more days to live and he was right.
We thought that we would lose my grandmother (Granny) not long after my Papa died, but she proved all of us wrong. She had taken care of him since the day he got sick and that was all she had known for 4 years. They had been married for over 56 years.
Fast forward to 2006. Granny was diagnosed with lung, bone, and stomach cancer on August 15, 2006. The following Wednesday she had a porta cath (sp) put in to start chemo and on that Friday, found out she had 4th stage brain cancer. After finding out that she had the brain cancer she opted not to do chemo or radiation and just live out the rest of her days however God chose fit.
My parents lived with my grandparents since my Papa had gotten sick and my kids and I only lived about 8 miles from them. We were down there a lot, but after she was diagnosed with cancer, we were down there every day.
Two weeks before my Granny died we were down visiting and her and I were sitting on the front porch. She looked at me and said, "Guess who came to visit me today?" My reply was, I don't know and I was trying to guess who had stopped by to see her that maybe hadn't been around for a while. After a few wrong guesses, I finally said I don't know who. Her reply was, Papa. Believing that this was very well possible, I asked her when and what had happened. She began to tell me how she had gotten up out of bed that morning, went into the kitchen to fix her some toast to take with her medicine, and went back to her bedroom to watch TV. She had just sat down on the bed when he appeared at the window and started to walk over to her. Of course this caught her by surprise, and she started to cry. He simply told her that he was coming to get her soon. She asked him when and all he said was soon, then he just disappeared. She told me that she sat there for about an hour crying and asking him to come back just one more time.
On Friday, October 13th, we had gone down there to visit and she was a little slow but was still coherent. As my kids and I were about to leave, she asked me to wait for just 30 minutes. I told her that I couldn't and that we would be back down there first thing on Saturday. By the time we arrived Saturday, she was not coherent and could only keep her eyes open for about 30 seconds at a time the most. She died at 10:24 on Sunday, October 15th.
My mother said that before she took her last breathe that she smiled and waved. One of her sisters that was there said, did you see her wave at us. My mother's reply was, she wasn't waving at us, she was waving at the ones we couldn't see, the ones that came to get her.
I know that Papa was one of the ones who came to meet her, because he told her that he was coming to get her. The one thing that I will regret until the day that I die is that I didn't wait just 30 more minutes. If I had known what was about to happen, I would have stayed. I have learned the hard way not to take the people in your life for granted and cherish every single moment with them.
You are never promised tomorrow, only the day at hand...