Lauren H. - A Granddaughter's Love

 A Granddaughters Love   4 years before I was born, my grandfather passed away from leukaemia. 6 months before I was born, my grandmother moved in. When I was born, my grandmother was in the room. 3 weeks after I was born, my grandmother sat next to my mother as I received a baby blessing. 1 month after I was born, my grandmother spent endless nights with me and my parents while I was hospitalised with sepsis. 6 months after I was born, my grandmother helped my family move from Antioch to San Luis Obispo. 1 year after I was born, my grandmother was running around the house after me. 3 years after I was born, my grandmother was dropping me off and picking me up from pre-school. 

8 years after I was born, my grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. 

9 years after I was born, my grandmother was asked to stop driving. 10 years after I was born, my mother told me about my grandmothers illness. 13 years after I was born, my grandmother was moved from my home to an assisted living facility in Salt Lake City, Utah. On April 23, 2014 we got a call from my aunt saying that my grandmother had gone unconscious and was being taken by ambulance to the hospital. My grandmother didn't make it to my 16th birthday. 

My grandmother passed away peacefully on April 23, 2014. According to workers who were next to her, she sat in her favourite chair after eating breakfast, closed her eyes, and slumped over. When they couldn't revive her, they called an ambulance. She was taken to the hospital where my aunt was waiting for her to arrive. She was taken into a back room where they discovered she had suffered from a severe heart attack. My grandmother had signed a DNR years before so they couldn't do anything to try to save her. She passed away peacefully in a hospital room, and no longer had to suffer. 

Pauline Ruth Copple DeNatly was a beautiful woman. She married Douglass DeNatly, and together they had 5 children. Shannon, Brent, Kelly, Jared, and Misty. Pauline's 5 children provided her with 6 granddaughters and 7 grandsons. Her  grandchildren adored her, and she spent years travelling between 4 of her children's homes visiting them. In the final years of her life, she moved from the home she had know for nearly 15 years to an assisted living facility in Salt Lake City. In those years, I watched the beautiful, bright, happy woman who helped teach me to read, who went to every violin recital, who took me to the library and ice cream, and who loved me unconditionally.....slip away, and I saw a hard, angry, scared person take over her body. I spent years being angry and scared of her. I pushed all the happy memories away because it was easier than reliving them. I used to pray every night that they would cure this disease so I could have my grandmother back. 

Until the end I was still hoping and praying for a cure. I wanted my grandmother back. I saw all these other people with grandparents in their late 70's, 80's, and 90's and here I was with a grandmother in her early 70's, dying from a disease that made it so she didn't know who I was. I became very bitter because I saw a great injustice. I had lost a grandfather to leukaemia, a grandfather to emphazima, and now a grandmother to Alzheimer's. I had virtually no grandparents left. How did some people still have two sets of grandparents and I had none? 

It has taken me years to share my story with anyone. I felt that by keeping it hidden, I wouldn't have to feel the pain, sadness, and loneliness. I still have a hole in my life that my beautiful grandmother left that I will never be able to fill. But by sharing my story and her story now, I hope I'll be able to help others in the same struggle I spent years going through. 

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