Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sunday at Grandma's: Nora's Grandma Speaks

Today at "Sunday's at Grandma's" one of Nora's grandma's tells her tale of how excitement and anticipation to be a first time grandma turns to despair in a moment.



I vividly remember the moment that Lindsey told me she was pregnant.  Bob and I were making dinner when Lindsey called.  She was with Nick—in Hawaii—on a short vacation while Nick was on TDA (temporary duty assignment) there.  They were sightseeing.  Lindsey made small talk for a minute, then asked me what I wanted for Christmas.  My inner voice replied ‘a grandchild’ but I really didn’t want to put pressure on either of them, so my next thought was that they found something in Hawaii and wanted to check with me prior to buying it.  In the usual, no pressure way, I replied, “I don’t know.”  Lindsey then said, “How about a grandchild?”  I was elated, so elated that I broke into tears.  I let Bob have the phone while I sank to the floor and cried tears of joy.  I was so excited!  The only stipulation from Lindsey and Nick was that I couldn’t tell anyone until she was farther along—another 4 to 5 weeks!  I wanted to shout from the rooftops that I was going to be a Grandma!

Later that summer the doorbell rang.  I answered it to find flowers being delivered.  Confused, I mentioned to the delivery man. “Who would send me flowers?”  He said he, “Wasn’t sure, but they sent a balloon.”  Not catching his clue I signed for the bouquet and brought them inside.  Our dogs were around my feet so I was looking down trying to avoid stepping on them while I walked the bouquet to the dining room table.  I set it on the table and finally looked at it---the flowers were pink and the balloon said, “It’s a girl.” I screamed as I danced around the room, like a child myself, and ran up the steps to tell Bob—they’re having a girl!  After raising two daughters of my own, I knew how much fun having a granddaughter would be.


The phone rang in the middle of the night.  My eyes lazily opened and I smiled as Bob answered the phone.  My inner voice said ‘the baby is on her way’.  I heard Bob on the phone—short comments—I thought at one point he said “Nick?”  Then I heard him say, “We’re on our way.”  As he hung up the phone and walked to my side of the bed I wondered why we were leaving right away.  Our plan was to go up in a couple of days to see the baby, after all were back home.  I sat up as Bob approached the bed; he kneeled next to me and said, “The baby died.”  I felt like someone had punched me in the stomach as I doubled over in sobs.  Words like ‘no’ and ‘why’ kept going through my head.  Bob told me that the Doctor couldn’t find a heartbeat when Lindsey got to the hospital.  He held me while my body absorbed the news and shook with the inevitable sobs of disbelief and horror. 

I have felt grief over death before.  My Mom died when I was 16 and at the age of 25 my father died.  This pain was so much worse than what I had experienced before.  My granddaughter, innocent, and beautiful-even though I had not seen her—was gone.  How was Lindsey?  How was Nick?  What must they be going through?  I needed to be there for them.

We had already packed bags to make our trip to Minneapolis to see our new granddaughter.  Even with that it took us 2 hours to leave—there were showers to take, dogs to ready along with all their paraphenalia.  I quickly threw a funeral outfit in my suitcase.  Then the inevitable phone calls.  The heart wrenching phone call from Kristi when she found out and called.  I could hear her body sobbing and heaving with sorrow and I could do nothing to stop it.  I wanted to hold her and tell her it would be okay—even though that was a lie—but I could do nothing except to tell her to get to the hospital as fast as possible to be with Lindsey and Nick. 

I quickly went through the Christmas presents we were taking up to the Cities.  I weeded out all the baby gifts, and any gifts with references to ‘the new daddy or mommy’.  It just seemed too cruel to present baby gifts.  We had purposely decided to postpone a family Christmas celebration until after the baby arrived.  Christmas and our new granddaughter would always go hand in hand from now on—or so I thought.  But now in a different way. 

I cried for the whole five-hour drive.  Bob kept his composure by making phone calls and getting angry—wanting to know why.  I kept wondering when I would wake up from this nightmare.

Part of me is still waiting to wake up...

-Nora's Grandma Gerry

1 comment:

  1. Dear Gerry,
    So sorry for the loss of your granddaughter Nora and for the pain your family is going through. It is obvious how loved and how welcome she was in your family and how cruel is it that she was just one step away from meeting you. Your words could have been my words, I too am a grieving grandma, actually I am a Nana. I have a granddaughter, Samara, who was born July 2010 and my daughter and her husband were thrilled to be having a second baby, a boy, expected begin September 2012. I spent many days and nights last Summer helping my daughter get everything ready for the baby. The whole pregnanacy there was no reason to believe that anything would go wrong, all visits to the midwife were perfect, the last days my daughter had so much energy and she was so looking forward to his birth. On the evening of the 5th September she rang to say that she was going to the hospital because she hadn't felt him move all day, but then she was 39 weeks pregnant and thought he had no space to move. We thought that she would ring after 30 minutes laughing and saying that everything was okay... unfortunately the news was devastating !!! That is the moment that we became one of the 1%... bad luck? ... no doubt you have all heard the well meant, but hurtfull words people say. I started a Facebook group and started collecting information for a website, because after the funeral I would not, and could not accept that this was the end of all of our expectations... that Jordan could come and go and that his life wouldn't make a difference. I wanted to say his name all the time, I wanted everybody to know who he was, he was our little dragon(born in the year of the Dragon), he was named after Michael Jordan, his room was full of dragons, he had baby clothes and hats with the Jordan logo... he should have been sleeping in the bed that was ready for him. Why not!!?? We still don't know why... bad luck!!!?? Gerry if you would like to contact me, then please feel welcome to join my Facebook page, or contact me privately, Lindsey has my email. You and your family are in my thoughts. Pamela


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