Five years ago, my gramma was diagnosed with cancer. The doctors said she had 6 months if she didn’t take any treatment and maybe one year if she did. She did the treatment and won the doctors by four years. Last Wednesday, she went to the hospital, where the doctors said it was a matter of maybe 24 hours till her organs start to failing. She won the doctors by 72 hours. I wish she had won by another four years.
She was always a little bit stubborn. People said that she had to do something but, if she didn’t want to do it, she won’t do it. Once she managed to piss me off by asking how much I was being paid on my work, even after I told her three times already that I wouldn’t say. She had this idea that she needed to know how much I was making and won’t give up easily. Maybe that’s why she managed to won the doctors so many times: she decided that she wanted to live and nobody (not even her cancer) would change her mind.
When my parents moved to Costa Rica, she moved to our old house to “take care” of me and my parent’s daughter. In the end, I guess it was more us taking care of her than the other way. That’s how she managed to piss me off. She also decided that she wanted to do something and, even on her frail state, she did it. She wanted something, and she would get it. I can say “stubborn” and it can look stubborn, but it also make her look like a fighter: she had an idea and there was nothing on this planet to stop her. She would fight for what she wanted. And that’s how I will always remember her.
The first warning came from an email from my mum Saturday morning. It said that my gramma was in the hospital and that she was in some sort of comma. Somewhat, I felt what was about to happen and decided to do anything else to not think about it, to avoid slipping into depression again. But I guess I’m as stubborn as gramma and decided to check my emails Saturday night. Another email from mum, saying that gramma slowly stop breathing and her heart slowly stop beating. And she passed away. The email also said that “death is part of life.” I know that: we are born, we leave our mark in this planet and then move out. It seems that we don’t know how big the marks other people leave on us until they leave us. Gramma left a big mark on me and just now I realised that.
Saturday night, before falling asleep, I heard her voice in my head, with her imperative way to talk, almost like giving you an order, and with her Italian accent: “I don’t want to see you sad, Julio Andre.” Sorry gramma, I can’t do that right now.
It’s a little bit of a pain to be far away from your family but you know, deep down, that one day you’ll come back and see all them again. But it really hurts knowing that, even if you come back, that person won’t be there.
Miss you already gramma. Miss you forever.