One small spoonful of pudding made it into her mouth. And then another. And one more before she gave us a small smile and dozed off once again.
My mom looked away from her mother, who was lying on the hospital bed, and smiled at me.
"This is the most she's eaten all day. I think she is trying to make it until Uncle John arrives..." she said as she looked at me with hope.
You know those moments that will stick in your mind forever? Etched there as if in granite, never to fade? This is one of those precious moments in my life.
It was just over two years ago. Nana was in the hospital and her internal organs were slowly shutting down. Her body had had enough and her soul was looking forward to joining Papa for eternity.
My mom had called me earlier that evening and let me know that Nana was nearing the end of her journey here on earth and I should come and visit. It was a rainy Thursday evening and my son had soccer practice, my sister was hours away in Seattle and my little brother had visited her earlier in the day. I left my older daughter and son at home with my husband, jumped in the car with my infant daughter and drove to the hospital.
Nana was alert when I entered the room. She smiled at the little girl in my arms and whispered a hello as we sat down near the foot of her bed. We chatted for a few minutes, my little girl nibbling on her great-grandmother's finger, and then it was time for Nana to eat just a little more food.
So we sat there together. Four generations of women in one room. My Nana was just four weeks shy of her 100th birthday and my daughter was just five months old. Almost 100 years had passed between the birth of these two women. One entered this world a few months earlier in a hospital room and the other was about to leave this world from a hospital room.
I sat in a chair and nursed my little girl while my mom spoon fed chocolate pudding to her mother. It was a once-in-a-lifetime moment for us. My mom and I taking care of the oldest and youngest women in our family, both of whom were helpless without us. Mother and daughter together taking care of a mother and a daughter.
|Six months earlier, Nana meeting her newest great-granddaughter|
Nana passed away just 36 hours later. She made it until her son had arrived from Chicago and she died surrounded by all her loved ones. Never having been in the room with someone when they left this world, it was a surreal experience. But the sweetest moment for me of those few days will always be that rainy Thursday evening when my mom and I were taking care of the oldest and youngest of us.
Yesterday I went to a baby shower to celebrate the arrival of my brother and his fiance's daughter. The shower was hosted by dear friends of my mom's -- all women who knew Nana well.
Of course, my beautiful niece stole the show.
All I could think about on the rainy drive back home was how much Nana would have loved to have been there. How much she would have adored her newest great-granddaughter. How much she would have appreciated the food being served on fine china and the wine poured into crystal glasses. She would have loved the beautiful fall flower arrangements, the table settings that were done to perfection and the petite butter cookies maybe most of all. Nana never met a dessert she didn't like.
Then I thought about my almost 4 year-old daughter that arrived with my brother for the very end of the shower. How her eyes lit up when she spotted the cookies and she immediately asked if she could have one. I even caught her sneaking a second cookie. Nana would have been so proud of her and would have been sneaking cookies right along with her.
I finally realized Nana was right there with us. In all of us. The Circle of Life.
Do you have any moments that you will never forget?
So...I keep planning on writing a running-related post and then something else always is in the forefront of my mind when I sit down to type! I'll go ahead and interrupt this heavy post with some not-so-serious talk about my running.
The latest update on my foot is that I went to see a podiatrist last week. Unlike the podiatrist I saw this summer (who basically just gave me a cortisone shot and sent me on my way), this podiatrist is a real advocate of non-intervention strategies.
He took the time to listen to me and after a thorough examination, came up with a slightly different diagnosis than the first podiatrist. Instead of diagnosing "extensor tendinitis", which is tendinitis of the tendons on the top of my foot, he believes I injured the sheath/ligament/fascia that runs across the tendons in my foot. The good news is that he believes I can keep running while I do my best to heal the trauma through icing and stretching.
He is also a big advocate of minimalist running (or, really, minimalist footwear for all activities all of the time.) He encouraged me to remove the cushioned liner from my running shoes and slowly transition to a true minimalist shoe. Hmmm... While I have heard great things about minimalist running, I also know many, many runners who remain injury-free in regular, cushioned running shoes.
My current plan is to slowly transition from my Asics GT-2170's to my Brooks Pure Flows. I already run in my Brooks about half the time so it shouldn't take too long to get me all the way there. The Pure Flows aren't a true minimalist shoe but they definitely promote more of a "natural" running stride and foot strike. Assuming all goes well in the Pure Flows, I will likely just stick with them and not move to a (zero drop) minimalist shoe.
|Brooks Pure Flows and Asics GT-2170 -- notice how much higher the heel is on the Asics|
My foot seems to be tolerating runs okay in the meantime. This morning's run was an 8 mile progressive run with the middle miles at a 7:30 and then 7:15 pace. I loved having the run done before anyone else in my family was awake so I could enjoy a little post-run endorphin bliss! :)
What kind of shoe do you run in? Have you ever considered a minimalist shoe? Have you read Chi Running?