Wednesday, May 7, 2008


It's a sad day for my family.

It's a sad day for me.

As you know my maternal grandmother has been ill these past few months. On Monday night she was taken back to hospital from her recent arrival in a nursing home.

A couple weeks ago she had insisted that my Mother or Uncle take her home to pick up some summer clothes. They knew once she got inside that house she would not want to leave so they would not take her, instead went to pick up anything she wanted. We know now that she simply wanted to go home to die. That is where her husband passed on, and it's where her Mother had also passed on. It's where she wanted to meet her maker as well. I think, had she told them this directly they might have relented and taken her home, but being the cranky ass that she was so often in life, they only envisioned her not wanting to leave and causing a commotion. I only hope she forgives them for not taking her home.

She had been recently suffering from abdominal pain. At the hospital on Tuesday morning, the Doctors said it was likely a perforated stomach, or cancer, or both, they couldn't say for certain. My grandmother knew what was going on, where she was, and where she stood. Having been a Nurse for many a year, she knew.

She bluntly refused any diagnostic procedures, surgery or treatment that would prolong her time on Earth. She was ready to go. I think it takes a very strong soul to say, "I am ready to go, please do not interfer." That she was conscious, my Mother and Uncle could not over rule her decision. They put her on an IV drip and administered morphine to aleve the pain.

By Tuesday afternoon she was in a deep sleep. One she would only wake from for a few minutes that day.

- - -

Today as a part of my grieving process, one that begines often before the physical loss, I decided that I was going to ask N@ to play a song for my Nan on her request nooner show. Knowing the Mix's music dept as I do I thought I'd better do some checking first (It's incredible, but the Mix only had 6 CD's and only one untouched by Timbaland. So you really have to check if they have the song you want. ) I asked her to check if they had Angel by Sarah McLachlan, to which she replied yes, but that it had only been played a day or so ago on the show, so would not be in rotation again for a while. So as a second check I asked about Angel, by the Eurythmics. She said they had it and that it would be played today.

I replied back quickly asking that it not be played that I was only checking in advance, but it had already been put into today's show and by this point it was only 15 mins or so to air time. So I said, that would be fine to play it. I forgot to ask her to mention it was a dedication, but then in retrospect, it didn't matter because I know my Nan knew. 1000 kms away, in her hospital bed, I know she knew.

The song aired at 12:10 pm. I send a quick thank you to N@ then after the song played I went out of the office for a few minutes. On my return at 1:30 pm there were two phone messages; one from my Mother and another from my Father. I called my Mom who was on her way to the funeral home. Nanny had passed away at 12:31pm.

- - -

I'm going to miss her terribly, as I miss all of my Grandparents. I love all my Grandparents, but she was, I have to say the closest to me, I think in part because we were so similar. Our birthdays were only 6 days apart. We shared the same passion for gardening. We both are more opinionated than is really good, we know, we both just don't care. We both nurtured a very healthy fantasy world (it's what we Pisces do so well) We are both emotional, and love hard.

I'd like to share a couple of pictures of the old bird... I'm hoping they are some of her favourites, they are some of mine...

This first one was taken in 1931. She was 18 at the time. It was at her family home in West Dover, Nova Scotia. Pictured with her is her dog Whisky and her older sister Beulah.

This next photo is taken in 1941, again at West Dover. This is her family portrait. The Newburys. My Grandfather Cyril, my Nan, my Uncle George and my Mother Gloria.

This next pic is from Christmas 1961, a mere 8 years before I landed on Earth. If you look closely you will see her little friend Timmy the Budgie sitting on her shoulder. As both my Mother and Nan have told me, this was how they would often be in the living room listening to music.

And this last photo, was taken on October 19th 2007. Didier and I had gone to Halifax for a belated Thanksgiving, to spend time with my parents (Dad had just started 6 month course of chemo for lymphoma) , and to visit with my grandmother who was in hospital. It brings me such unparallelled joy that this woman, who at 94 years of age and having really, never spoken a word with my directly of my 'persuasion' so unabashedly accepted, welcomed and loved Didier. She never ceased to amaze me with the love she could give, but even this was beyond the top for me. It was, truly one of the happiest days of my life. I'll never for get it, as I will never forget her.

- - - - -

I didn't realize just how appropriate and profound the lyrics were to the song that N@ played today until just now as I checked them online...

by the Eurythmics.

Underneath this canopy of snow
Where fifty-seven winters
Took their toll
Where did you go?

And I believed in you
I believed in you
Like Elvis Presley
Singing psalms on a Sunday
(Where did you go?)

Well she's gone to meet her maker
Back to where she came from
Come to save her soul...
Come to save her soul...
Come to take her home
'Cause it's late and past
Your bedtime
Well past bedtime

My angel
Fly over me

She took her life
Within her hands
She took her life
Within her own two hands
And no-one can tell her
What to do now

And I believed in you
I believed in you
Like Elvis Presley
Singing live from Las Vegas
(Where did you go?)

Well she's gone to meet
Her maker
Back to where she came from
Come to save her soul...

- - - - -

I love you Nan.


T said...

MK, what a beautiful post. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family...xo

Ma Horton said...

It seeme there are many angels in your family , and you are one my friend . I and sure your Nan is smiling and is ever so proud of you . Take care and hugs to all of you .

Maria said...

Did you have to make me shed a tear so early in the morning?

God Bless your nana, and God Bless you for loving her so much.


mes condoleances shaun, a toi & ta famille. a difficult moment surely, but if she was ready, than, it's all for the best. one should never be selfish about those things. cherish the memories & keep her alive this way.
big hugz

JB said...

My wife's father had what's referred to in the medical profession as a DNR - Don Not Resuscitate - stipulated for his
care, if anything like a stroke, or a loss of function of any kind, were to suddenly happen upon him. He had great disdain for the idea of being 'kept alive' for the sake of being alive.

...and you're absolutely right.
It takes a person with great strength of character to tell the world, "I'm fine, no matter what happens. Let nature take its course."

...but your family has been blessed with much strength of character throughout its members, it seems.
Thinking about you and your Nan today.

Jerome said...

This is a beautiful testament to someone who clearly spent her life loving and being loved.

Newsguy Bob said...

I just got to read your tribute to your Nan. I'm sitting at my desk at work, trying to keep the tears welling up in my eyes from running down my face.
What a beautiful tribute to an obviously beautiful person.
Take comfort in your love for your Nan, and in knowing that others are thinking of you at a time that can be bittersweet.


Misster Kitty said...

Consider yourselves all severely hugged!