Grandma has the “C” Word

My grandma is the lady that taught me the meaning of a backbone. She was the first person, woman, and family member to learn the full story of my first relationship. My first relationship that included too many adult things for adults, nevertheless for a grandmother to hear from a fifteen year old talking about her first relationship as a thirteen year old.

My grandma listened to me talk about how I was with a guy that hit, raped, cheated, and disrespected me. She made the various facial expressions and “mmm’s” that a girlfriend would. She didn’t judge, but she did talk to me for two hours one morning. We kept re-filling our coffee cups with chocolate soy milk and a french roast that seemed to be forever flowing that morning. We had on our pajamas and I tried very hard not to cry as I let her into my darkest places.

She told me about God that summer. She told me about God in a way that I had never heard. Being a Christian since diapers I didn’t understand what she was talking about. I only knew what I felt one night, right before I came to her house to escape for two weeks one summer; that feeling was a feeling of peace, as I was lying naked on the floor of a guy’s house that I didn’t even have feelings for. I remembered the feeling of feeling worthless, but I also remember that in that very, very dark room I found the biggest light I’ve ever experienced.

Grandma talked about that Light and I was shocked anyone else knew what I had felt before. I didn’t feel religion. I didn’t feel Scripture most of the time. I felt like most everyone I knew really was “lukewarm”. Not to say I wasn’t, but I didn’t feel like my grandma was.

Grandma is my great-grandmother and this past Wednesday she was told, officially, that she has an aggressive form of cancer. The ‘C’ word. Lung cancer that isn’t allowing her to breathe, rest, or feel normal. She’s on oxygen and she’s unhappy about it. Grandma with her soft hands, and big hugs, and sassy sayings is on oxygen. She’s not herself.

She’s going to fight it. She started chemotherapy, not my personal favorite choice, but her choice. She will have this therapy five times a week. My aunt that is usually out of the country with missions is staying inbound. My Meme, which is Grandma’s daughter, lives next door with MS as her personal disease. She’s got rough stuff. Grandma’s got rough stuff. My mom and I live two hours away, with jobs, and husbands/boyfriends, school/house duties. Its going to be a hard ride, to ride chemotherapy out, but surgery isn’t an option and the cancer is squeezing around her blood vessels.

Cancer is a foreign word to me and my family. This is the first family member, that I’ve been desperately close to, that has had something like this. And I’m worried. I’m sad. I’m crying when people ask me “how are you?”

I’m terrified that my fiery Aquilla is not going to make it, not going to live as long as I think she should. I thought she would be at my graduation. I thought she would be there in an ivory colored dress, with all of the jewels my Gramps gave her, watching me get married. I thought she would be around for my first child. I’ve thought these to be selfish thoughts, but Brittany states that my future or how I saw it, is being threatened and I’m reacting to that. And I am.

I really am.


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