Just three days after our beautiful moment, my mom called to tell me I should go back up to see my Grandma. I walked in so unprepared to say a final goodbye, but also knew it was time. I also knew that it wasn't going to be any easier to say goodbye to a grandmother and watch her take her last breath, than it was at 17.
Life is so precious, time is beyond valuable. I stood there going over our life together in my mind. Of course there were things I might have changed, but I wouldn't because we would not have been right where we were suppose to be. So much was coming to an end. So many moments I wanted to keep having my entire life, but couldn't. Now I could only carry those moments as memories and share them as my stories.
She was surrounded with love and I mumbled a quiet prayer...she peacefully passed away. After the care team came in to confirm she was gone, they said they would give us as much time as we needed. We couldn't help but notice the most unusual, beautiful glow she had. Perhaps for the first time in a long time, she was at a wonderful place of peace. On the car ride home late that evening, my husband was driving and we came up on a car that looked JUST like my Grandparents. We couldn't see in on that dark highway, but could tell there was a driver & passenger. I couldn't help but cry as they pulled away. Ever so sweetly Jonathan patted my hand and said, "your Grandpa just picked up your Grandma & they're finally headed back to the houseboat!"
In closing I'd like to share the piece I wrote and read at her service...
Alta "Mickey" Richards | July 11, 2014
"Some women go with the crowd, while others stand out among the crowd, but my Grandma, she blazed her own trail, to the beat of her own drum, while the crowd watched! She was a strong woman that worked hard, prepared meals, sewed clothing & quilts, fished, went bowling, played pitch, & traveled. She was full of wit with a dose of wisdom. She was independent but loved my Grandpa.
At times she could make a sailor blush but she also taught me my bed time prayers. She was a bleach blonde with blue eye shadow & neon colored nail polish complete with pink lipstick that a washcloth couldn't remove after she kissed you! Her perfume lingered long after she left the room but her smells coming from the kitchen let you know she was home.
There was no one quite like my grandparents. They both had their pasts but that's what brought them together. There wasn't one without the other & I can't imagine it any other way. I've missed my grandparents for a few years now but still had little glimmers of them when we talked or in our visits & though they weren't the same from when I was younger, we still at least had them here.
I'm going to miss them possibly more than they knew...all of us will. I never thought about my life without them. But I hope to carry them on & share them with the world for the rest of my life. In closing I would like to use the prayer my Grandma taught me & we would say before we fell asleep...
Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray The Lord my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake,
I pray The Lord my soul to take.
God bless Mommy, God Bless Daddy, God bless Grandma, God bless Grandpa, and God bless everyone in the whole wide world, Amen.
Goodnight Grandpa, goodnight Grandma! I love you SO much!!"