Tomorrow, Anzia and I are scheduled to leave for Boston, MA to say goodbye to my Omi (grandma.) A little over a week ago we were informed that she was refusing to eat or take her meds simply because she was done. My mom was sick and couldn’t go immediately and all estimates were that Omi had 2-3 weeks, so my sister and I decided we would wait and go at the same time as my mom.
I have been a complete basket case since booking the ticket, especially after my uncle sent us a picture to prepare us what we were in for . My beautiful, fashion savvy Omi was emaciated and I selfishly didn’t want this to be my lasting impression, especially because the dementia had gotten so bad, that she wouldn’t know me any way.
Sunday we received the call that she had passed. Suddenly, the plan to say goodbye, was taken away and I wasn’t given a choice. I felt instant guilt for not wanting to see her that way. I would give anything for one more kiss placed gently on her cheek. One more opportunity for my Omi, mom, sister and I to be together. For so long we had been inseparable. I want to take time back so that my mom isn’t angry at herself for not being able to make it sooner. It wasn’t her fault.
When I got the call from my sobbing mom, I knew I needed to be with her. My wonderful hubby dropped everything and within an hour the car was packed up and we were headed to Salem, OR, 225 miles away. I am so fortunate that I had the ability to do this. I am so grateful that I work with such amazing people who were able to cover my shifts at a moments notice.
On our drive, Anzia shared one of her profound thoughts and admitted that she was happy that it happened this way. She reminded me that Omi never left the house without looking her best and that she chose to go because she didn’t want us to see her that way. Later that evening she also told me that I should be happy because as soon as Omi died she was born again as a baby and will be able to do life all over again. She added that maybe she would be born in China, because even though she had done a lot of traveling, she never made it to her dream trip, The Great Wall. This thought was especially touching because Anzia has said since she was 3 that she wants to be Buddhist, though she has yet to be taught about reincarnation.
When I was a kid, Omi lived around the corner from us. Literally, five houses away. She watched us while my parents worked full-time, and for all intents and purposes raised my sister and I. She was such a strong influence in my life. I am so thankful that she was around long enough to meet her great-grandchildren.
Thanks for reading along. Anzia and I will still be leaving for Boston in the morning, but now for a funeral, a different type of goodbye. I will be returning with a locket of her ashes and plan to bring them to The Great Wall someday.
Make sure to hug and kiss those that you love every day because you never know what the universe has planned.
To all the kids that were part of the swap: I haven’t forgotten and will post as soon as possible!