Ok, let me first start off by telling you that my first ever book is for sale on Amazon and I am so thankful to Vanilla Heart Publishing for publishing me and for Chelle, Charmaine, Lauren and my night owl buddy Tamara for reaching out to me and helping me with whatever questions I had, or just to get my name out there. Thank you. -Also any of the other great Vanilla Heart Publishing authors for all they have done for me as well.
Now, do you have a tissue? Let me tell you, today is a day that is bittersweet for me. Why? (Sigh) I’m going to spill my guts here, are you ready? I haven’t really celebrated my birthday in two years. Why? Well my grandfather that I was very close with, ended up going into hospice care some time in June of 2012. In spite of me going through some other extremely difficult things in life, this was the killer for me. You see he was 96!!! Up until about three years prior, he had been extremely healthy. I mean the man would ride his bike from where Lake Shore Drive begins on the North Side of Chicago, all the way to McCormick place all the time. This man was made of steel. He was more than a role model-he was my grandfather.
Suddenly I had to go to visit him in the nursing home and I hated it. I didn’t know how to relate to him any more. I didn’t want to look at him any differently, but I did, I couldn’t help it. It made me very sad to see him in his condition. In fact, I didn’t bother to stop and think of how lucky I was to still be able to go and visit him. I tried to make the best of it. I even had my youngest son’s second birthday there at the nursing home, because I couldn’t have a party without my grandpa, that just was not possible.
Anyhow in 2012 when he went into hospice it was like a sudden realization that I was losing him. Besides this, my family is crazy (but I love them). I had one person who swore that he was going to get better and as much I wanted to believe it to be true, I knew that it wasn’t, but I really-really wanted to believe that he would. The more time that I spent in the hospital with him, the more I could see that it was time for him to go. He was holding on, but I suddenly didn’t want him to anymore. He was in so much pain, I could see it in his eyes. (He couldn’t talk.) I remember actually being in the room while the nurses were bathing him and seeing the alarmed look in his eyes when they rolled him to his side, it wasn’t the funny look that he always gave me, but an honestly scared look.
In August of 2012, it got to the point where the doctors discussed our options and that it might be in his best interest if we pull the plug. Let me tell you, for my family the majority of our birthdays are in August, including his birthday, my deceased grandmother (his wife) my mother, my son, my uncle, my cousins, etc. So can you imagine what happened next? Well we couldn’t pull the plug on my younger cousins birthday, a week before my own, besides this there was a fight going on over whether to pull it or not. I told my mom, if they wanted to pull it on my birthday, I was fine with it. Secretly I hated myself because I was hoping that he would not die on my birthday. Well they pulled it the day before my birthday and he held on and he held on and he held on. He died the day after my birthday- my grandmother-his wife’s birthday.
I felt then and still feel the comfort in her taking him with her on her birthday. I haven’t felt happy about mine in a long time and suddenly this wild dream of mine comes true, I get my book published in time for my birthday. A book that I have always felt like my grandfather has led me to finish and that my grandmother watches over me as I write in between yelling at him for blocking her view. I suddenly feel excited and wonderful, yet guilty because they’re not here to celebrate it with me. Then my mother sends me this song on Facebook, she says she feels like my Grandmother and Grandfather want her to play it for me and I cry because it’s my grandmothers favorite song. It’s the song that the Mariachi’s played at her funeral and suddenly I know that it’s ok to be ecstatic about it. So first I’m going to go to sleep because it’s 12:00 am, but when I wake up I am definitely going to enjoy my birthday. Here’s the link to the song, I think my grandma would have wanted you to hear it. 🙂 ( I have listened to it at least 10 times today.)