The Stories In My Head Need a Home on Paper

Washington, United States


I'm a 40+ year old woman who likes just about anything, or will at least try just about anything once. I've been an educator for 21 years and love the art of teaching people new things. I desire to publish children's books and other types of writing, along with starting a school for my two daughters, who are 3 and 5 years old.

I'm hoping to join a community of writers that will help hold me accountable to making time to write more frequently.

Thanks for reading!




Aug 01, 2021 1 year ago

“I'll get tested and then come visit you Grandma.” That was the plan, because I hadn't seen Grandma Della since September 2019, before Covid. It was January 2021, and the Presidential Inauguration was approaching. I was working for DCPS, and school would be closed on January 18 through January 20. After months of virtual learning, I was exhausted. Teaching and learning at home was not for the faint of heart. So, planning a trip to see Grandma during this long weekend just made sense. I would take a Covid test on Wednesday or Thursday, and then hit the road Friday or Saturday morning. If I'm honest, I'm relieved things didn't go as planned. “Mama is being airlifted to Duke Hospital,” reported my Aunt Deborah. It was the afternoon of Friday, January 15, and I was at home. My plans to visit Grandma had been cancelled for three reasons: the January 6 attack on Capitol Hill, lost time and Grandma wasn't home. After the Capitol Hill attack, there were rumors of more protests. DC was on lockdown, and everyone's eyes were on Inauguration Day. Living about 12 miles away from DC, I began to think twice about traveling. My husband also expressed hesitancy, but there was still a window of opportunity. However, when Thursday afternoon came and I hadn't even made an appointment to take the test, that window was almost shut. How did I lose track of time? One word: work. Work had consumed me as usual, but as I said, I'm relieved things didn't go as planned. Grandma was not at home anymore, because she had a stroke. She either fell and pressed the emergency button on her bracelet or when Lifeline made their daily call to her and didn't get an answer, they sent someone to check on her. Whoever arrived, busted through the door and found Grandma unconscious. That someone could have been my daughters and me, if we would have left early on Friday morning to go see her. I'm relieved we didn't. Grandma was in pretty bad condition and we were in the middle a pandemic with many restrictions in place. My greatest fear was Grandma feeling alone during her most vulnerable time. My Aunt Deborah was the sole mediator between Grandma and the family. Within two days of being at the hospital, it was reported she may need a breathing tube or ventilator for the rest of her life. Prayers went up as tears came down, because the matriarch of our family wasn't well, and there was nothing we could do. I wanted her to get better, but if not, then my request was to see her again. Within about two weeks after Grandma was placed on a ventilator, there was no real progress. That's when life began to feel like that dreaded movie scene; the one where the doctor wants to meet with the family. It was time to make a decision regarding Grandma's health and future. My mom and three of my aunts met with the doctor and visited Grandma. They were told she could have a series of surgeries, or simply be taken off the ventilator. Either option would require 24-hour care if she survived. Grandma was a very strong, independent 82 year old and had made it clear over the years, she didn't want to be a burden on anyone. So, we decided to remove the ventilator and let nature take its course. Since this was our choice, four people could be with her at that time. "If possible, I would like to see Grandma, " I said during our family conference call. Of course, Grandma's children had first preference, but I wanted to be first on the waitlist. Tears of thankfulness fell down my face when I got the call letting me know I could go see Grandma, because an aunt and uncle opted out of going. My prayers were not in vain! I was going to see her! On Wednesday, February 3, I joined my aunt, uncle and cousin at the hospital. When we arrived, there was an immediate surge of beeping sounds coming from monitors hooked up to Grandma. She was glad to see us. However, she was unable to talk and barely able to move. I began a Zoom session on my laptop, so other family members could see her. As they joined in, the beeping began again. One by one, they expressed their love and appreciation for Grandma and shared funny stories from the past: stories of silly things like sticking little fingers into her sweet potato pies or falling into a bucket of lard while playing in her pantry. These were stories of a past unlike the present, where fear of death was the last thing on our minds. When my grandpa died, I sang at his funeral. Grandma often talked about how much she enjoyed the song, so that morning, I decided to sing that song to her. "There is coming a day, when no heartache shall come... " Those were the first verses, and I sang them to Grandma knowing that once I left that hospital, I may never see her alive again. I barely made it through the song, because as I sang, Grandma's monitors begin to beep one more time. Once they disconnected the ventilator, Grandma was at peace, knowing she only had a short time left. I'm relieved, because I sang one last time.

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