My DH and I had my grandparents and my mom & her husband over for dinner tonight. I can pretty much guarantee that it will be the last time that we are all together in our house. You see, Mary has cancer. That's not the surprising part - she's had cancer for 28 years. You wouldn't know by looking at her how sick she really is. She's a beautiful woman - always has been!
The bad part is that the cancer is winning now. It's heartbreaking to see her in pain, tired, and withering away to nothing. The worst part is that there isn't a damn thing that any of us can do about it.
We had a wonderful dinner (thanks to me!), drinks, and dessert. Mary ate more than I've seen her eat in a long time. I'd cook up a storm every meal and take it to her if I knew she'd eat like that every time. Mary lasted at least three hours, which is a long time for her these days. It was such a special time with us all being together, and I wish it could've last forever.
Unfortunately for my part, there will only be these three generations, not four. How disappointing. My children would really need to know their great grandmother (known by the other kids as "Mary the Great"!). I will have to share all of those memories and stories and strength from my grandmother with them.
Obviously I've learned that there are no guarantees, and life is one of them. We love you, Mary.