No Harm In Trying

Saturday, February 1, 2014
8:31 p.m.

Hey folks! So I know it’s been three weeks since I last posted, and a whole helluva lot of stuff has gone down in my life in those weeks. Thanks for not being too pushy and demanding blogs from me during this period by verbal or physical manipulation or assault. Justin Bieber’s been in the news recently with his drag racing, egg-throwing, limousine-driver-assaulting mischief, and now he must go before the White House to address whether he will be deported back to the land of maple syrup or not. Richard Sherman, well, yeah. Weather-wise, we had a relatively large system come in this past week, with 1.20 inches of rain at Sea-Tac Tuesday the 28th and Wednesday the 29th and feet of snow in the mountains, including Snoqualmie Pass. Other than that, there weren’t any major systems to speak of, so I don’t think I missed too much.

My grandma had been in poor health for a while, but she passed away on Saturday, January 25, 2014, two days before by 21st birthday. She was a driving force in my life and such an inspiration for me to look on the bright side of things, and if I could even attempt to live with the zest the lived with, I would be taking the world by storm. She had COPD, or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or, as some know it, emphysema. As she got older, breathing got harder and harder for her to do. In the beginning of January, she had a urinary tract infection, and ended up staying in the hospital for 2-3 weeks. Because she was there sitting in a bed so long, her body became very weak, and by the time it was time for her to leave, her health had really gone downhill. I was in school at the time, but my mom, aunt, and other hospital members spent all of Tuesday, the 21st, trying to get her into her retirement home (the Belletini), and apparently it was extremely difficult, as she could certainly not walk and there was a ton of equipment to haul around.

Once she was in her apartment, the retirement home hooked us up with a hospice care company, and they were very helpful. I don’t know how they do it – I couldn’t have a job where I’m continuously working around people who are going to die in a couple days. But my grandma, being the spirit she was, was very grateful and continued to laugh, smile, and joke with the hospice employees right until the very end.

I had spent a lot of time with her over the summer and she had recently been over to our house for a Christmas dinner. I visited her in the hospital after her health had degraded significantly, and then the first three out of the four days she was in the Belletini (not counting the day where she moved in). I was exhausted mentally from seeing her in that state, so after going Wednesday-Friday, I passed on Saturday, where she, surrounded by those closest to her, peacefully stopped breathing and passed away. When she was alive and I was there, there were many times she was sleeping, and all I could do was go into the back room and cry. But as soon as she would wake up, I’d run over to see her, and rather than being sad, I’d be in the moment and be happy. When I smiled at her, she’d give me a wink back, and she kept telling me of how proud she was of the man I had become. When she was at the hospital with me, she thought she was gonna die the next day, and as I left to go home, she looked at me directly in the eye and said, “Don’t ever let your epilepsy get you down.” I don’t think it ever really has to be honest, but now it’s gonna be even harder, because whenever those negative thoughts come up, now comes up my grandma, rising triumphantly above them all, saying “you’re the shit, know dat.”

Most of my grieving was actually done when she was still alive, but this past week has been hard. I just haven’t been able to focus. I had an atmospheric science quiz on Friday, and I had all day to study for it, but all I could do was just sit in my bed, paralyzed by grief, and I subsequently failed the quiz. But after that, a new thought struck me. My grandma would have wanted me to get back up and succeed, and I’m not just intent on doing that, I’m PUMPED to do that. Because I’m agnostic, I don’t know if she’s up there in heaven cheering me on, but I think there’s no harm in trying.

~ Charlie 🙂

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