Caregiving for My Grandma
I have a caregiving story about my grandma. She passed away at 97 with stomach cancer. Afraid of pills and injections, she refused any medication during her entire life, including her bout with cancer. Our family gathered during her last three days. She was clearly suffering, and I asked if she would finally take a pain pill. Unfortunately, she told me she could no longer swallow one and admitted she made a mistake. I remember spending the last night with my entire family sitting on the floor by her bedside. In the morning, we called hospice, and they brought pain patches and liquid medication. After taking it, she became lucid and asked to see her family. We lined up, and she said goodbye to each one of us and passed away peacefully. Born in 1904 in New York City, her father passed away early, and my great grandmother remarried and traveled by horse-drawn wagon to Scranton, PA. They were poor, and my grandma started working at an early age until she met my grandfather, who took her to his home town. They spent the next 58 years together. My grandma opened a small dress shop when she was 55 and worked there for the next 40 years until she was 95 years old. She sent her 9 grandchildren to college, and that taught me the lengths people go to take care of the people they love. An adventurous soul, she continued to live a full life until her last year. Even then, she was accepting and modern in her thinking. Sick and unable to leave her home, we took her to the Internet, where she picked out a present for my aunt, her companion, and caregiver in the last years of her life. She was a unique soul who made an everlasting impression, teaching me how to respect and welcome everyone, which is a lesson well learned.