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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A year ago...

On the heels of our return from a fun Christmas in Annapolis, our world took a turn. At the time, we didn't know how long the journey would be. We were hopeful. We were realistic. We were scared. We felt lost sometimes. We were tired. But we always had each other...

I spent much of yesterday thinking about this picture...it is from Christmas Eve last year as we were shopping around Annapolis. We had so much fun. We knew that it was essential to enjoy every moment the four of us (Grandma, Mom, Sister, and Me) had together. I don't know if we somehow intuited what the next few days (and ultimately months) would bring or if we just knew that at some point we would not be a foursome so we needed to live it up big. Sometimes you just have a feeling...and you never want to have regrets.

Three days later we hustled quickly to put the new bed set that we had given to Grandma for Christmas on her bed before she came upstairs for the evening. It was frantic really...we had to sneak it upstairs because we wanted to surprise her. As the end of the evening drew to night, she was ready to go upstairs. We had assumed our regular positions...one of us walked backwards ahead of her and one of us behind. She had a bit of trouble grabbing the stair rail with her right hand...which was weird. I suggested perhaps we stay downstairs, but Grandma was pleading with me. She wanted to go upstairs to her bedroom. "Please..."

So we proceeded upstairs, her determination was fueling the journey. She was struggling...but she had a goal...and she was not afraid of hard work. She got just in the doorway to peak in see her bed all dolled up and then we eased her to the floor. We knew what was happening. She knew what was happening. She was having another stroke...and it was very different than the ones before. I have two vivid memories from that night...the sound of her voice saying "Please" and the look on her face when we locked eyes as the EMTs helped her into a transport bed/chair thing. She knew it was bad too.

The time span between December 27, 2010 and March 18, 2011 would be filled with so many moments. The four of us were still figuring things out...together...until we were just three.

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