So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.
Time for a food blog. Yesterday as the Grandma Sullivan situation developed, I also had some from-scratch French bread in the works. Before church I had prepared and kneaded the dough, and after church I was in the process of converting the risen dough into long rolls when Dad called to tell me about Grandma. I had to leave the bread covered with a moist towel as we went to see Grandma. By the time we got back, the dough had adhered itself semi-permanently to the countertop. I managed to extract one of the two loaves and transfer it, lumpily, to the baking sheet. The other roll of dough, although it looked good, refused entirely to come off the counter. The one loaf that made it into the oven, however, came out looking pretty French bread-like:
Turns out that to create that delicious crunchy crust bit, you toss in 1/4 to 1/2 a cup of water into the oven. The steam causes the crunchy crust. That bread had an extremely short but delicious life.
Then about 4:00 last night, it became apparent that Mom and Dad weren’t really up for cooking dinner for the birthday guests they had coming over. An entire day in the hospital with Grandma Sullivan is pretty tiring, even if all you do is sit in a chair all day (as I’ve learned today). Mom did rally enough to put a chicken upside down into one of her fancy pots; but Ian and I prepared baked potatoes, steamed vegetables, and a chocolate cake to have more than just chicken to offer for dinner. We even had a brief but exciting fire incident when the paper towel on the plate full of cooked bacon caught flame. In all I ended up spending quite a few hours in the kitchen yesterday.
Today Dad and I went for a short, hilly bike ride. The rest of the day we spent in the hospital with Grandma Sullivan. About 1:00 she became lucid enough to respond to questions — intubated she couldn’t actually talk or even smile — and when asked if she wanted the tube out, she made it very clear that she really wanted the tube out. Earlier the priest came and gave her last rites, which I think made her feel better about agreeing that she was ready to go to heaven to be with Grandpa Sullivan, her brother, and her parents.
It’s been an extremely emotional day, and I know Dad struggled with whether to keep her on life support or not, but it helped that she made it clear she does not want the tube in her throat. OK. She understands that taking it out means that when she falls asleep she may wake up in heaven, and she’s fine with that. That makes it easier for us, lifting the weight of the decision so we can just support her and help her feel comfortable in her last hours.
Honestly, I can only hope to go the way she’ll go: Peacefully in my sleep. Falling asleep and never waking up — isn’t that how everybody wants to go?