May-August 2016: So much soul searching. Trying to figure out who I am and what I wanted to do with my life:
I felt like I was getting to the point in life where I was almost 26 and not knowing where I wanted to go. What career I was headed towards, the type of guy I was looking for, etc. Lucky enough for me, I had my Gramma to help guide me (along with everyone else who loves, cares and supports me). I quit my job to be her primary caretaker, but it was more than that. I wanted to quit my job, I wanted to spend as much time as I could with her, and I did. We went to movies, doctor appointments, dinners, got our nails done, lunches, made breakfast together, Dairy Queen runs, went to church together (where she at times fell asleep because she was at such peace, and other times it was just too early for her), were lazy and sat on the couch all day watching Hallmark movies, sat outside to watch golfers, and just enJoyed each other. Why did I capitalize the J in enJoyed? Because she was just that, Joy. She had the best advice, always telling me that I was young, I was going to figure it out, and I did. She was the one that really told me to pursue beauty school. Told me I would be great at it. Believed in me and the dreams I had. She was always proud of me and supported anything that made me happy.
August 2016: One of the worst months of my life.
I don't know if you guys know what MSA is, but that is what my gramma was diagnosed with years ago. The MSA Coalition defines it as this : 'Multiple system atrophy, or MSA, is a rare, degenerative neurologic condition that affects both men and women, usually starting in the 50’s or early 60’s1. MSA is considered a type of parkinsonism but with more widespread effects on the brain and body. The condition was first identified in 1962 and named Shy-Drager syndrome for two physicians who reported patients showing a combination of Parkinson-like movement disorders and problems with the autonomic, or body-regulating division of the nervous system2.' After a few years of her diagnosis, she was significantly worse than the allotted amount of time they give before it gets severely worse. She was the strongest woman I knew. When it came time to bring in Hospice, they said they didn't know how she was still living. Most of her lungs had become rock solid and her airway was pretty much closed. She was strong. Stronger than I think she needed to be at times. She finally surrendered her Earthly life and let God take complete control. On August 14, 2016 she passed peacefully. God was with her every step of the way, holding her hand guiding her home to a place of a painless and perfect life. Although I miss her so much it physically hurts, I know she is in a better place and she is with me always.
August 2016 cont'd:
About a week after she passed, I had a wedding that I was a bridesmaid in for one of my dearest friends that I went to college with. I was emotionally broken. How do I go support someones happiest day when I am in so much pain. That was where I was thinking wrong. Although I was in pain, it wasn't about me. She would've wanted me to go and live life for her. Because she loved to travel, have fun and live life to the absolute fullest. As I drove 6 hours, alone, crying for most of it I couldn't help but feel like I was doing the right thing. I was meant to be at the wedding and she was with me every step of the way. And she was. The wedding was beautiful and I am so beyond ecstatic that I was there to be apart of it. God has a crazy way of making total and complete sense in the most difficult times. Driving home from the wedding in Idaho I stopped to get gas, I hear in the background a song that I have never heard before that day. I sat down, immediately Shazam'd it (because yes I still use that app) and YouTubed the song. I listened to it for 6 hours on repeat and completely sobbed. It became our song right then. My song for her is 'Thy Will' by Hillary Scott and the Scott Family. If you haven't heard it, you need to. I will be driving around town, to school, anywhere and miss her so much, start crying and put the radio on or turn it up and not long after is that song normally playing. She's with me all the time. In the car, at home, always. That right there makes missing her a tiny bit easier.