A few months ago we found out my Grandmother was dying of colon cancer. We had this terrible week where her heart rate was just 40bpm and a decision had to be made about whether to risk her life putting her under for surgery to stop internal bleeding. When the choice was brought to her she smiled at my sister, who was so scared, and said, “If I do the surgery then I’ll get to sweep my floors and garden my flowers.” That’s all she ever worried about.
I can’t tell you how afraid we all were about whether she would wake up, but she did. She may be old, but she is so strong and stubborn. After all was said and done, she had to have multiple organs removed and since she’s so far in her age and the cancer is already in early stage 4, she opted out of radiation and chemotherapy. There was nothing else they could do and she was sent home. Since then she has had to be taken back to the ER 3 times.
It’s hard taking care of someone in their later years of life, let alone someone suffering from cancer. My grandmother’s only wish in life is to die in her home with the knowledge that her home will stay in our family for generations. It is everything to her and we are trying so hard to honor this while also making sure she is properly taken care of. We keep getting stuck in this corner with the fact that if we receive help we risk losing the house and if we don’t get help then her health will falter. So I had started a campaign to help raise funds to offset the overage costs.
Her life and her home are tied together.
You see, my grandma grew up during the depression and married young as most people did then, they purchased the house shortly after my father was born. My grandfather served in the Navy during WW2 and watched as his entire ship went down. For years he had suffered extreme PTSD and depression; one day he went out hunting and he never came back. As suicide was extremely taboo then, whatever life insurance and widow’s assistance she would have received was forfeit. She was left to raise 5 children on her own with very little.
Despite this, my grandmother went to work and she never complained and she never remarried. Even though they had barely anything, she gave all she had to her children and her church. She had even crossed racial barriers before segregation ended in 1964 by befriending and helping families in her community despite their race. Her children grew up and she took in her grandchildren, then her great grandchildren and along the way she cared for hundreds of children and families that came to her. She never turned anyone away and she never asked for anything in return. Her whole life was devoted to the people she loved. Throughout time her home became a monument of her life and all the lives that passed through the door.
This is why it is so important to hold on to. It is why it is so important to keep her door open.
She’s never had anything extra in her whole life. She didn’t even have cable until a few years ago and still watched movies on old VHS recorded tapes from television circa 1970s. Everything in her home is as it has been since the beginning because she never needed anything before. She was just content on sweeping her floors and gardening her flowers.
If you find it in your heart to donate, I appreciate it with all my heart. I really do. For everyone reading this, I just ask for your understanding that this is a rough time right now for my family and I’m a little behind. However, I am trying my best to find a balance with everything and I will get there.