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    Yesterday I went to visit her in the Hospital. I wept, and I'm not a man to be brought to tears easily, but I wept as I looked at the mother of my father sleeping in a hospital bed.

     She is all of 87 and had always been feisty. I am sad to say we had not been very close over the years, though there was never any ill will between us. That is just how life is sometimes, the days go by and the shadows get longer and we often forget to reach out to some of the people we love because there aren't enough hours in a day. I honestly can't recall the last time I saw her, it was around two years ago, but yesterday I saw her lying asleep and I doubt she will ever wake up again, and I wept.

More below the orange dream cloud

Her name is Margaret. She married my grandfather decades ago and they had a baby. His name was John Thomas Schehr. He was my father. Shortly after her husband died. He was a sailor in the Navy. He died of spinal meningitis when my father was a wee babe.

Margaret remarried to a man named Joseph LaGreca, and my father took his name. Joseph LaGreca and Margret than had another child whom they also named Joseph.

But Joesph the elder was a lout. He inflicted unimaginable abuse upon my father and my uncle, and it stayed with them for the course of their lives. I can't imagine what my Grandmother went through, but she stayed, she honored their vow and she endured. How she did so is beyond my reckoning.

My father left home at a young age and joined the navy as his father before had done, but he stayed a devoted son and he never spoke against his grandfather in my presence. Each year we would get in the car and visit Grandma and Grandpa for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter, my brother and sister with my mother and often the family dog would all make the trip upstate to Ulster County New York, and though our mother had told us of what our Step-Grandfather had put our father through my dad never once spoke of it, and he always dutifully made the trip up to his parents, to his mother and step father. Though my father honored his step-father I can only imagine the love he had for his mother, my grandmother, in staying a truly devoted son all those years.

And when my father died we grew distant. That was years and years ago, but though we stayed in touch by phone it was rare when I saw my grandmother.

And now she is almost gone.

The doctors say she has a tumor pressing up against her brain. She no longer responds to people, and only days ago she had troubling recognizing my sister when she had gone to visit. She has developed pneumonia and the fever is getting worse. The doctors have asked if we would sign a "Do Not Resuscitate" waiver, or something of that sort.

And then it all comes home. This is what we are fighting about. All politics is personal. It's not just about the ideas or the principles, it is about actual people and how to make their lives better. After all my advocacy for health care reform this is when it hits home, because we love people and we want them to be safe and cared for, and because sometimes those people are real people we know and love and sometimes we will never meet them at all, but goddamit we can do better for people, better than this, and that is worth fighting for. I see the nurse caring for my Grandmother and I ask myself what can we do for her to make her life better, I think of that nurse's family and I wonder if they struggle and I ask myself what can we do to make their lives better, more fulfilling, more prosperous, so that this short struggle we all endure on this silly spinning orb can be made slightly better, if only for a time. I saw my grandmother yesterday for perhaps the last time, and though she was never awake I told her I loved her and I wished her peace with my father at last. I believe she heard me.

I don't pray a lot, but I prayed, and I gave thanks for the little I have and for the people I love. Ours is to take what is and make it better, not just for ourselves but for everyone and for those who shall come after us. That is worth fighting for.

So I offer this as a way of expressing emotions and as a way to honor my grandmother, the mother of my father.

To make the world a better place, one small act of kindness at a time.

I give blessings for my Grandmother, and to each and every person out there.

Peace and love to all

   


   

9:35 AM PT: Big Love to everyone. Sorry for the lack of comments on my part, just hard to really know what to say, and yeah, that happens to me too. Giving mojo all around and sharing love with you and yours.

Bless this community

Originally posted to MinistryOfTruth on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 08:30 AM PST.

Also republished by Personal Storytellers.

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