The aroma engulfed me.
Rhythmic clicking of the ventilator was the only sound, and it seemed to echo in the room.
Grandma looked so frail. She had always been a tiny wisp of a woman anyway, but lying there covered in the stark white hospital sheets – she just seemed like a child.
My mind visited an earlier time. Her days revolved around me. I never got the full story why my dad was not in the picture, but I knew that where my dad was missing, my grandma stepped in. Grandma helped me find who I was growing up.
When I started to read, she spent time with me on her lap allowing me to read books over and over to her. Never letting me slide by on the right pronunciation of a word. Always stopping me to ask what a phrase meant to me.
I credited my speaking abilities to her.
Now, at 35 years old, I made my living as a corporate trainer. Presentations were my specialty. Anytime I shared with her a new program I had developed, she praised me just as she did when I was young. It always brought tears to my eyes.
Today brought the tears too. I was going to miss her. But it was time.
I saw her chest move up and down as the ventilator pushed air into her lungs. Her left hand, with knuckles misshapen from the arthritis, trembled. I curled my fingers around it to hold it steady. There was no response to my touch. But, I held on anyway.
I felt the movement of air behind me and saw mom closing the door.
"It's time, honey."
"I know, mom. I know."
A few minutes later, the doctor entered the room.
When no words were spoken, he tapped mom on the shoulder and she simply nodded. Writing something on Grandma's chart, he moved to the machine.
As he reached for the knob, I heard a sob escape.
I felt empty.
Grandma's chest stopped moving and the room was silent.
She was gone, to a Savior.
On to Paradise.
She talked of it often, meeting Jesus. Now it was her reality.
But I would miss her. She had made my life a better place on this side of Paradise.
I kissed her forehead and whispered, "See you later, Grandma."
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