...random experiences, observations and thoughts of my daily life as mommy...past journeys and dreams of journeys yet to be taken creating my life story as i go...

Sunday, June 6, 2010

"dear hayno, we will miss..."

(top photo taken after telling you we were engaged...bottom photo taken this past christmas at our house...the blurriness somehow seems appropriate as i have so many memories blurred into these two representative photos)
  • running back and forth between you and your frozen cream puffs...elated with the idea you really want to share ONE more bite...and when you don't, happily eating your share, too
  • watching the wooden clock in your dining room and counting each chime aloud while you smile and turn the big hand to just one more number and do it all again
  • running back and forth in the long strip of your back yard...collecting treasures like poppies and "dates" from the palm trees, walking too quickly along your little wall...sometimes splashing in a little pool or dripping popsicles all over your tiles, chairs, table and you
  • dumping every single block (plastic, wooden, legoed and otherwise) out of the plastic wagon and into the middle of your living room floor and then just looking for more to undo instead of playing with those
  • pulling one another around in this wagon and bumping into everything, dumping one another out, trading places and then running over your toes
  • throwing baby dolls down so you can remind us how to care for them and how that makes them sad...hearing stories of your own baby dolls you played with as a child...
  • sharing old photos of you as a little girl with your sisters; looking at your changing hair styles and even sharing and comparing real locks of hair
  • hearing stories of you making mud pies with your sisters...very specific details on your favorite aspects of how to do this and imagining do this along with you
  • realizing the deep love you shared with charlie and hearing stories of all your adventures...when you were first dating, newly married all the way through living with you here on c___ street and the big stuffed bear he left for you when he left on a trip
  • the quiet, patient way you listened to so much about "us" and we rarely got around to hearing as much about you
  • the autobiography you started to write for us through so many stories of you life that you shared that we never did quite get written down
  • the fun game of ringing your doorbell, knocking on your door, peeking through your window and then waiting with flowers we picked out of your yard, mail, newspapers, whatever just to see the joy on your face as your looked through the crack of the opened door to receive us...
  • anticipating and planning our visits to mimi around seeing you...when we could maximize our time, spend the most time, not be too cranky or tired yet feeling guilty we never quite got to see you enough
  • watching sea and story both anxiously point to your house when we drove by if we were in town but hadn't yet visited
  • random news, stories, tips on life that you read or heard about and shared with us to enrich our lives as they had touched yours
  • your generosity ever since i was too little to appreciate it...i remember one lesson you taught me as a little girl when i said you didn't need to get me two dresses and you told me they weren't to make me happy but because it made you happy to give them to me
  • your advice through the years on what made your life fulfilling...letting go of the small stuff and appreciating dear people who love you and love me
  • your support and love of manuel when others in my life didn't approve or understand all that i love about him
  • your patience with my two wild children and always focusing on their positives even when they were being rude and ungrateful and cranky...you somehow saw their angelic natures shining through or at least were so wonderful about emphasizing these qualities when they were hard to see
  • the grace and poise and strength and wisdom of how you lived your life...your character, your giving, your listening, you ability to be so much for so many...
  • but mostly we will just miss you
i feel somewhat morbid typing all this...tears streaming down my face as i remember and visualize each of these little moments...most of them are recent through the eyes of my own children but a few go back to me as a child...morbid because hayno hasn't passed away yet. she is in the hospital with pneumonia and doesn't have much will to live. but she is 90 and tells those who visit what a wonderful life she has had and there is a time for everyone...

so my experience with loss of those closest to me (my dad and grandparents mainly) has been so sudden i didn't have a chance to think of all these things about each of them. i didn't have the opportunity to share them while they were alive. some of this i think would make hayno smile...she would appreciate that i noticed and appreciated her on so many levels...but i don't want her to feel guilty, like she needs to stay around for us. i want her to feel ready to go and that we will be ok without her (even if right now i don't feel like we will)...how do i say these things? do i? i know with my dad he wouldn't have wanted to have this conversation...he most likely died of a cardiac arrest because we were instantly left with all these memories instead of having to share our sadness of missing him with him. but hayno may be different? i know she is very cranky and difficult in the hospital...she deserves to die at home...but what if she goes home with hospice care, gets over the pneumonia and this was all premature? i figure she would still appreciate the memories and love but i don't want to assume she is dying if she isn't? or maybe she would rather have my presence and love without hearing all of this...to "reall" when maybe she just wants to let go instead of having the pressure of all she will leave behind?

do any of you have experience with losing an older person who knew they were likely to die and/or was ready to die? did you have any "heart-to-heart" conversations with them? i think if i asked my husband what i should tell hayno when i visit her he might say to err on sharing it all...how i support her decision to hold on or let go but that i wanted to share with her how much she meant to me...

i've been babysitting a friend's kids for 9-10 hours each day for the past two days and i'm exhausted but this is the first moment, at 3:34 a.m. three days later that i've been able to grieve the possible loss of hayno and reflect on how to respond...i will try to call her in her hospital room in the morning (close to 11 so she can sleep)...but sometimes i have "intuitive" senses about things and i hope this intense mourning at this odd hour isn't because something has already happened...


  1. What I have learned through my years of hanging out at the hospital is that most of the people just want to know that they are loved. Some of them like to hear stories and tell stories, but that's their personality - and if Hayno loved to tell stories, then that's what she'd probably like to hear. Do tell her you love her, wing the rest :)

    Thanks for your prayers for my husband. I do appreciate it. We need all that we can get :)

    Kristin - The Goat

  2. My father is 94 and a few times we thought he was dying and he did too. So by now we talk about it freely. I think everyone is different and pay attention to those instincts of yours.
    You are all in my prayers.

  3. This is a beautiful post. So many memories. I can honestly say that I have very few people in my life that I would have that many fond memories to write about. She sounds like an incredible human being.

    I am horrible when it comes to these things so I have no idea what advice to give. Just be you.

  4. Oh sweety!! I hope you are able to have the conversation you want to have with her... you are right about so many things.. thank you for sharing your heart!


  5. Oh D, what a beautiful post. What an amazing woman. You (Sea and Story too) are so lucky to have had her in your lives. Sending my prayers. Call me if you need to talk.

  6. Hi D,
    My thought is that it is bittersweet when you do have this chance to say what you feel to someone you know doesn't have much time. Even if she comes through now, you won't have lost anything by telling her how much she meant to you and thanking her for her role in your life....

    I just went through something similar with my grandma Rose, who we drove out to see when she went on hospice. I wasn't even sure how much she could comprehend at the time, but I have to say that telling her how grateful I was to her for being the grandmother/friend she was really helped me to say goodbye the way I wanted to.

    Hazel and my grandma have something very special in common - they both lived long, beautiful lives, and there is nothing better than being so profoundly adored at the end of a long, happy life!!

    Love you D. I'm thinking of you and hoping you get to say what is in your heart.


  7. You are in a weird stage right now. Don't worry too much about what to say. Just be with her. That's what is important because whether this is her time or not, time together is still precious!

  8. That was simply beautiful.

    Yes, I have lost a few people that I loved. When my grandma went into the nursing home I was 20 and visited her 2-3 times a week for 3 years either alone, or with my grandpa or my mom.

    When she was dying, it was like a vigil at her bed. She was also in and out, but would sometimes chuckle at our conversations. That was precious since she also had dementia and sometimes/a lot of times didn't respond to us at all.

    Anyway, when we had to leave for the 3rd night in a row, we each took a turn saying our good-byes (just in case.) I sang her a song she would always sing to me.

    Then i left her room and went back to my grandpas house. We got a call from her nurse that she died before I had left the building.

    I still get chills thinking about it.


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