My grandma has lung cancer. In August, she was in the hospital and they treated her for pneumonia, but everyone, my family and doctors alike, thought it was lung cancer from the start. It's stage four and has spread to her fourth and sixth rib. I found out last week Wednesday.
Today, I'm trying to remember all the good things. When I was little, we moved in with my grandma. She became my built in babysitter while my parents were working. I cannot remember a single childhood summer that does not have her in it.
She would walk me and my cousins down to pool every day after we ate lunch, and would sit in the shade and read while listening to our endless choruses of "Grandma, watch this!" and "Grandma, look what I can do!"
After dinner, we used to sit at the kitchen counter and do puzzles. Start with the edge pieces and work your way inwards. My job was always to find the corner pieces. Some nights, we would colour. Since I'm a lefty, she always colored the right page and let me do the left one. We filled up a color-by-number book when I was nine. I think my mom still has it packed away somewhere.
I remember the first grandparents day when my cousins and I were finally all in the same elementary school. I was jealous that I had to share her where I hadn't had to share her before.
During the holidays, I used to help her bake cookies and stir homemade Chex Mix. I would watch in awe as she made homemade pie crust from one of her mothers cookbooks. I always turned my nose up whenever she mentioned the words "green tomato mincemeat pie."
She always made Christmas special. My cousins and I all had these advent calendars where you get to eat a candy bar every day until Christmas. My grandma used to sit in her chair and tie 75 candy bars in total onto our Santa strings, 25 for each of us.
When I graduated from 8th grade, I had a 4.0 gpa. She bragged to anyone that would listen that entire summer about it. "My granddaughter has a 4.0 grade point average. I'm so proud of her."
When I was in kindergarten, she used to walk me down to the corner of my street to catch the bus every morning. In elementary school, she would walk me to the 5 corners to meet my cousins so we could walk to school together. In middle school, she would park around the corner from school and be there to pick us up every day. In high school, she always made sure I got up on time to catch the bus.
Every time I had an important test—state testing in 4th, 8th & 10th grade, final exams in high school, the day I took my drivers test—she always cooked a big breakfast of whatever I wanted. Most of the time it was chocolate chip pancakes and a big glass of milk. Sometimes it was French toast. She always made sure I got a balanced breakfast on my important days.
When I left for Savannah to go to art school, she got up at 4 o' clock in the morning with us to say goodbye. I sobbed into her chest as I hugged her goodbye.
I love my grandma with all my heart. She has made my world a better, brighter place to live in. I'm terrified of losing her, because I do not know how to live in a world where she does not exist. I will always think fondly of my memories of her, and I'm trying my best to cherish all of the time I have left to spend with her, regardless of all the driving I have to do to see her.
I love you, grandma. I'll see you soon.