Friday, May 11, 2012

I'm Back...and I don't know how I'm supposed to feel right now.

Before I begin telling you about the bittersweet trip to the Philippines Little One and I went on, I would like to announce the winner of our Wholly Guacamole and Beanitos #CANsnack giveaway!

Congratulations to
Tina L.

entry #4 I like to try the Chipotle BBQ Black Bean Beanitos (have not tried before).
I love the Wholly Guacamole products. My favorite is the Spicy dip.

You will be receiving an e-mail asking for your mailing info. Your prize will be shipped to you as soon as possible. Enjoy your fabulous Beanitos and Wholly Guac goodies!

Thanks again to everyone for entering! More exciting giveaways and reviews to come!

Now for my first post since I took off to the Philippines a few weeks ago!

Over three weeks ago, I received a phone call from the Philippines. My grandmother was in critical care in the ICU.  I felt a knot in my stomach when I heard my aunt's voice on the telephone. I purchased plane tickets for Little One and myself, packed our suitcases (and made sure to pack a black dress in case we had to attend a funeral), and the next day, Little One and I were on our way to the airport.

I dragged my sleepy three year old on a very long flight from Toronto-Narita-Manila. This was her first international flight and also the first time she would meet some of our family members in San Jose, Batangas, Philippines.

My grandmother and grandfather were like second parents to all of us (my cousins, brothers, and me).  When we were younger and while our parents were at work, "Mommy" and "Daddy" took care of us.  Everyone called my grandparents "Mommy" and "Daddy". Since our parents called them that, we did as well. The names just stuck. To this day, even close family friends call them Mommy and Daddy.

My grandfather died when I was in my early twenties and while I was teaching abroad. His death left a huge empty space inside of me. My grandmother remained healthy, strong, and as sharp as a tack! She remembers everyone's birthdays, anniversaries, and special occasions.

The thought of losing Mommy too just left me feeling really heartbroken. When I received the phone call, she was in critical condition in the ICU and unconscious. When we arrived, she miraculously came back to us! Bed ridden, on a ventilator, with tubes everywhere and in a lot of pain, she waited for us to come.

The hardest part about spending our days in the ICU was seeing Lola (Grandma in Tagalog) with her sad eyes, and pleading for us to let her go now. She is in a lot of pain and basically, her existence is being prolonged. She mouthed the words, "I love you all. I am so tired and in a lot of pain now. I just want to rest. I want to go to Heaven now."

Seeing her like that, holding her hand, and imagining my world without Mommy/Lola was unbearable.  It's selfish and unrealistic for me to want to keep my grandmother with me forever. I know everyone has their time when they have to leave their loved ones behind. I've never been good at goodbyes.

I'd have to wait until I got to the hall or the waiting room so I could break down and cry. I didn't want Mommy to see me crying and knew we had to look strong and positive for her. I keep telling myself that I need to be at peace with letting her go and that she needs to know that it's okay to rest now. She needs to know that she doesn't have to hang on and keep suffering because we want her to stay. She's tired and in lots of pain.

I really don't know how or what I'm supposed to feel right now. Her heart and mind are still strong, but everything else is giving up. She has pneumonia again, her hemoglobin levels are low, she needed four blood transfusions in the past three weeks, and things just keep getting worse. I don't want her to suffer any longer. I just pray that she is free of pain.  At the same time, I don't want to say goodbye. I don't know what to feel or how I feel. All I want to do is cry.
Little One and her Great Lola in 2009

** I am still a bit jet lagged and will catch up on posts soon. I'd like to blog about our Filipino Adventures and include photos. **


Cherry said...

Oh Chrissy. I'm so sorry you are faced with this but glad you were able to go to be with her so far away and on such short notice. Many hugs for you and your family during this very trying time.

Christine said...

Thanks so much. I'm having a hard time with this. I told myself that it was important for me to be there for her when she was still alive and for her to know that I was there rather than just attending the funeral. I still don't feel any better though. She's so important to me and I don't know what to do without her. I know I need to just let her rest and be happy that she will no longer be in pain. She is suffering right now. Ack! I have a hard time letting go :(

Dee said...

Oh Chrissy I am so sorry you have this burden to bare. I don't really know what it is like to lose someone so close to you but I imagine it is so hard. Please know my thoughts are with you

Little Miss Kate said...

I lost my Grandma in Jan after a long illness. Even though we KNEW it was best for her, it was so hard to let go and still hurt like hell.
Wishing you all the strength in the world to get through this difficult time.

Christine said...

I honestly cannot stop crying. I feel like such a freak. When friends call, I cry. When my friend popped by tonight, I cried. I feel like my heart is being torn into a million pieces. Clearly, I do not deal with losing loved ones well at all. Not that anyone really does, but some deal better than others. I wish I had it in me to just be at peace and let her go...

Christine said...

Little Miss Kate:
I remember that :( I know exactly what you must have felt or are still feeling. Thank you for this comment. I cried when I read it, but I really appreciate the support :) You are such an awesome friend.

Like you said, KNOWING it's the best for our grandmothers doesn't make things any easier.

Aeryn Lynne said...

*MASSIVE HUGS* for you Christine! You know we're all here whenever you need to talk it out, hun. *hearts*

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City girl moves to the country, falls in love, and marries a farmer. She tries to incorporate her city ways with her new country lifestyle and blogs to keep in touch with friends, family & students who live far, far away :) Can this city girl go country? Watch as she learns all sorts of exciting things about life on the farm and in a small rural community. *UPDATE* We are now parents! Our baby girl was born on Nov. 11, 2008 (at 28 weeks gestation- 12 weeks premature, but she's quite the trooper)!!!
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