As I've told you earlier, when I was four we moved to live with my grandma (Mom's mom) in a house that my mother bought for her. We moved there to make sure that she wouldn't live alone during her old age. Just like my mother, she still sold food at the traditional market until she could barely walk anymore.
My grandma had a bad temper. She fought with the fruit sellers or vegetable seller and she wouldn't mind yelling harsh words. She loved boys more than girls, so naturally she loved her sons and grandsons more than the daughters and the granddaughters. It's just a well-known fact. There were some precious moments, though, when my parents had barely enough money to cover our expenses and to buy our basic necessities, my grandma would buy a big bottle of Sprite every now and then and gave a cup to my brother and I. That small cup of Sprite was really such a HUGE treat for us, so we would sip it bit by bit (just like drinking wine) since every drop was SO precious for us. We would only get that treat from grandma!
Grandma had also some health problems. I don't know the English name, but the Indonesian name is "asam urat". Basically if she had too many nuts and some other specific kinds of food, then her leg muscles would be stiff and she would have problems walking. If it got worse, then one foot would get swollen and it would make it harder for her to walk. I must say that looking back, she was one VERY TOUGH lady. Even when she had trouble walking, she wouldn't give up walking around with the help of a stool that had the right size to be used as a four-legged cane. She kept on doing her activities with the help of this stool.
I was never really close to my grandma, so I didn't really feel the loss when she passed away. She got really sick for a whole month before God took her away, if I remember correctly. She stayed home and my parents decided to hire a nurse to help take care of her since my mother couldn't juggle work, kids, and taking care of grandma during the night. We had to change nurse a few times since they couldn't handle grandma's temper.
Remember that my mom sells food in the market, meaning she cooks all the food herself and she has to get up at around 3 or 4 am to warm up some of the food or cook them and then she goes to the market at around 5.30 or 6 am and she'll go back home at around 10-11 am. By then she has to prepare lunch already for the family. Busy, busy, busy.
Back to grandma...Before being bed-ridden, she fell down on the bathroom floor a few times, so in the end my Mom told her not to lock the bathroom door whenever she had to go there. Back then we didn't have a seating toilet, so only God knows how she managed to pee or poo by squatting down. Her arms must've been pretty strong to hoist herself up again with the help of the stool.
Anyway, I was around 16 years old during my grandma's last month. She became so frail as she got bed-ridden. We had to move her every now and then since it would hurt her if she stayed in one place for a long time. She peed and pooed in bed with the help of a potty. Her intestines couldn't digest her food anymore, though she could still eat. She also experienced prolapse of the uterus.
I watched her body shrink so fast during that month that it scared me. I could see her rib cage and pelvis CLEARLY through her skin. Her cheeks became so sunken and there was no more body fat, just skin covering the bones. It was...now I can't find the word to describe it. It was just discomforting and I think in a way I was shocked since she used to be a very strong woman who would yell out to other people. A strong woman who still sold food even though her memory had started to fail her, and she was reduced to THAT frail bed-ridden figure who was unable to distinguish what was real and what was unreal?
She had flashes of dead people surrounding her every now and then. She said she saw her dead sisters, but she didn't even realize that they were dead. She went in and out of "reality". She truly believed she saw them. Since she was a Catholic, so a Pastor came over to pray for her and to give her the last sacrament. A few other Christian colleagues and relatives visited her to pray with her. At first she refused to say, "Jesus, forgive all of my mistakes." She would stop right then and there and wouldn't follow the words of those people who tried to pray with her. She said to Mom that she saw a road, but the road was dark and she didn't know which way to go. She kept on saying this over and over and over again.
I don't remember anymore who finally managed to make her say those words, but at last she said those words, "Jesus, forgive all of my mistakes." And you know what? A day after that, she called my Mom and said, "Now the road's bright. I can see it clearly." And my Mom said to her, "Go on and follow the road. Don't worry about us. All your kids have gotten married and they're all well. So just go and don't worry about anything else." And true enough...not long after that, she took her last breath. I think it happened a few days afterwards.
I wasn't sad when she died. I felt that God had finally stopped her pains and given her the very comfort she needed most. I felt that she was freed from every suffering on earth. Upon reflecting all this, my Mom once said, "I never knew what a person experienced or saw during his or her last moments on earth. Now at least I know one version of it."
To my grandma, I'm glad now you're in a better place. :-)))) THANKS for having brought my Mom into this world. ;-D
P.S. Tomorrow I don't think I'll write due to the birthday party I mentioned in my earlier post, so see you later on Sunday or Monday! Have a BLESSED weekend, everybody, and stay healthy!!!! ;-D