I got a call Saturday morning that my grandmother only had a few hours to live. She was in Massachusetts. I was in California.
I didn’t make it back on time.
My wife, infant and I live an hour away from her assisted-living facility. Close enough where I could see her often-ish, but far enough away that, with a baby and a job and dogs and a house and yardwork and a million other trivial things that seem so inconsequential at the moment, it became too easy to make excuses to not make it down to see her as often I should’ve.
I can’t even recall the last time I saw her. It was probably somewhere around Christmas. I don’t remember what we talked about — or how she was feeling. I don’t remember if I told her I loved her.
I’ve read stories like this before. They all sound pretty much the same and I’m sure mine does, too. Life is precious, focus on family because you just never know, blah blah.
I’d read them, think to myself, “Hey, I should call her.” Then forget about it five minutes later. Now I’ve lost the chance.
This is exactly the situation those stories warn against, and I’m hoping you don’t brush this aside like I have in the past.
Please, please, please don’t let this happen to you. Make the call. Make the drive. What I’m feeling was entirely avoidable, and an unnecessary pain on top of losing someone you’ve loved and been close to for, in my case, 30 years.
Just go kiss your grandma on the cheek for me.
I’ll never get to again.
Story by Pat DeCola