A month earlier I finally was home from Germany. Erik and I and my baby to be. Matt stayed to take care of loose ends. I was due in less than six weeks. Our baby girl. It was great to be able to take walks around my neighborhood. Living with my parents was even seeming to be more than tolerable. My gram was so excited that I was having a girl. She adored Erik and looked forward to us stopping by with the wagon but I knew that she preferred girls. She was already shopping. Gram, mom, and I...years spent shopping together... ready for a new generation to join in the fun.
As my dad and I searched each other's eyes I quickly blurted out, "I have to go to the bathroom. I will be right back." Dad nodded as Mom watched Erik run around- she knew nothing. She was unable to hear the page because of her hearing loss.
Two days earlier Dad and I were hanging out with Erik waiting for my mom to return from work. Matt was finally back but was working 3rd shift in Chicago. The phone rang and I jumped up to answer- it was so great to be back in a country where answering the phone didn't take much thought. I put it to my ear and heard the words, "I can't breathe...I think I am having a heart attack!" Gram? ...Gram?? Just relax. I am going to hang up and call 911. Dad will be there in a minute. Running. Have to get there. She has to be okay.
Yesterday. Gram is okay. She is safe in the hospital. Went to see her and she is back to her cranky self. Making fun of how huge I am. Ready to meet the baby. Katelyn Margaret. The middle name from Matt's great grandma who had died last summer. Although Gram did have a heart attack they are going to fix it with a balloon surgery tomorrow.
One hour ago. Gram is prepped and ready. "When is this baby going to come out?" I ask. "Don't worry" says Gram. She will come- they always do. A doctor enters, checks the chart, then exits. Gram comments on the fact that he is too young and handsome to be performing her surgery. We all have a good laugh. She rolls away with the nurses and Mom and I decide to have lunch.
15 minutes ago. My dad comes into the hospital lobby with Erik. Erik is very hot and sweaty. I am ready to take him home for his nap, but decide to let him cool off before getting back into my dad's car with no air conditioner. We make small talk as we wait for Gram to be done.
As I head to the cath. lab my heart races. What will I say...will they tell me what is happening? I see a nurse and ask her to go in. She comes out and explains in what sounds like a foreign language that Grams heart stopped and that they have been trying to restart it. They want to know if they should continue with life support or let her go. I must find my mom.
I am in the hall. How can this be happening? She was just laughing with me. Katie hasn't been born yet. It isn't time. How can I tell my mom? She will never be able to handle this. I look at my dad and he knows.
"Mom" I say.......
Erik is still playing. Noises are everywhere, but time has stopped. "Mom....it's Gram..."
No. No it can't be.
Tears, hugs, more tears. Decisions. Let her go. Pain...intense pain.
15 hours later. Katelyn Louise is born. She is perfect. Gram's legacy. Gram's spirit is in her. She loves to shop...there are still only three of us at the mall, but I know Gram is there with us. Looking down and smiling.