When I Get Where I’m Going On The Far Side Of The Sky

“Yeah when I get where I’m going
There’ll be only happy tears
I will shed the sins and struggles
I have carried all these years
And I’ll leave my heart wide open
I will love and have no fear
Yeah when I get where I’m going
Don’t cry for me down here”

Brad Paisley – When I Get Where I’m Going [Ft. Dolly Parton]

These kinds of posts are never easy ones to write. I know when you read it you may seem like it was because the words and thoughts will flow as usual. It is far from easy though, I’ve written about this a few times now in the past coupe of years and it never gets easier to do. It’s necessary for me though. If you’ve been around for any length of time you know I write how I feel, I write about what I’m dealing with, or what is going on in the world. This is my corner of the universe and I use it to the best of my abilities.

Losing someone you care about is always hard. Most of us have learned that a lot more often during these past two years while we dealt with Covid-19. So many people lost loved ones, friends, teachers, etc to that horrible plague. Prior to 2021 I thankfully had only lost one Grandparent or Great-Aunt or Great-Uncle that I was close to. I know I’m rather lucky when it comes to that as there are so many who never get to meet their Grandparents or only have a short time with them. I was fortunate when it came to that. I lost my paternal Grandfather in 2002 to lung cancer and while it hurt and I was sad, I was also seventeen years old at the time so my reaction then was not what it is now.

So it’s the end of 2019 and Covid-19 starts up. For the sake of counting at this point I have three Grandparents still alive, and a number of great-aunts and uncles as well. The end of 2019, I want to say a little after Christmas my maternal Grandfather had a fall at home and some sort of injury occurred. I cannot remember what it was because life has been a whirlwind. Normally this would not be ideal but you’d manage it and he’d get taken care of promptly. But there’s a problem here, my maternal Grandmother had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s a couple of years prior and while she couldn’t remember most things, she was able to live at home because my Grandfather was there with her.

Well after the fall he was hospitalized for a week or two. During that time my Grandmother went into a special memory care facility because it was the best for her and there were no other options. I can say none of us expected things with my Grandfather to turn as quickly as they did. Near the end of the those two weeks in the hospital were told that his body was shutting down and that we needed to prepare for the inevitable. It came fast too, all of a sudden he was gone. I know it was the best for him and it was something we could not control so you just prepare for it and when it’s time, it’s time. January 2021 was time.

Let’s fast forward to July of 2021. July is always a rough month for my maternal grandmother. It was both my Grandfather’s birthday and their wedding anniversary. Literally the same day (July 21) so we always knew it was rough times for her and us, but we would do what we could for her. About five days before that she fell in her driveway and scraped up her arm and knee pretty bad. She didn’t want to go to the hospital to get checked out no matter what we said. You can’t force her to go so it is what it is. We got her some ice and ibuprofen for the soreness she had in her arm. After a few days of her complaining that it still was pretty sore, we setup a doctor’s appointment to verify that nothing was broken and see if they could give her something better than ibuprofen. They did the tests and scans, and there were no breaks or damage. They sent her home with some type of medication which helped with the pain.

About three days later we got a call from her later at night that she had fallen again and had gotten herself over to the chair in the kitchen. Everyone rushed down to check on her and when we got there the story she told us made no sense based on where she was. She seemed to be in more pain and this time she didn’t fight us on a trip to the hospital. 911 was called and she went on her way. Once tests were done and had come back we were told she had broken her arm this time and there was nothing they could do. Her bones were too brittle to do surgery and she had poor blood flow in that arm so the healing was no sure thing. They also worried she wouldn’t be able to take to the anesthesia. The arm would remain as is, in a sling upon her release.

She never did get released. We came to find out she had some type of infection that neither the doctors nor us had known about or how long it had been going on. In a way it was a blessing she fell the night she did and we found out that way rather than her dying from it at home and someone finding her. Once again we knew time was short and the end was coming. We got word on a Sunday afternoon that she was going downhill. If we wanted to say anything to her now was the time because they didn’t know how much time was left. She passed away about two hours after that phone call. Thankfully we all got to say our goodbyes and made it by the slimmest of margins. A lot of bullshit happened after that leading up to her funeral and post funeral. I wrote about it on my real life Facebook, and since I don’t want to make this post a mile long, I’ll link to it on a page here on the blog if you’re curious. If not it’s all good, it doesn’t change the post either way. [1]

(You can read my unfiltered thoughts on this using the link above) This part is a little bit of a side story that will tie into this as we go along but I felt like I needed to be included to understand how things happened throughout this journey. It will be brief that’s for sure. My Grandmother and my Great-Aunt lived in a front-back duplex for the past 20 or so years, dating back to before my Grandfather had passed away. After my Grandmother had passed on, my uncle who had taken over ownership of it because it was easier for him to manage, decided he wanted to sell it and be done with it. Which is fine and his choice. The problem is we had my great-aunt still there and she wasn’t really in a position to find somewhere new in a minute, so he had said we could have til the end of the year. “Awesome that’ll work” and we can figure out where and what. He put the house up for sale the day after her funeral in August and we had less than a month to figure things out with her. I’ll get back to that later on in this post…

Let’s jump ahead for now to December of 2021. We’re picking back up with my maternal Grandmother, the one with Alzheimer’s, who had been in her memory care facility. She’s enjoyed the time there and while she doesn’t remember much she’s gotten to meet her youngest great grandchild and even though she won’t remember it, there’s photos to prove it and one day the little one will know. As December moves along though she started to go downhill. Everyone expected this to happen because we knew how it all worked, we just didn’t know when that clock would start. Oddly enough it started ticking right around the same time that my maternal Grandfather’s did. By the beginning of January 2022 hospice was called in and she was made comfortable until time ran out. We got to January 24th and everyone figured she’d wait until the 25th to make one year between the two of them, but I had a feeling she’d change it up a bit.

Grandma in her Alzheimer years was a lot of fun compared the one I knew growing up. Don’t get me wrong she was caring and loved all of us, but she was a devout Catholic who lived and breathed church. I may not agree with all of it, but I will not question her dedication to it. She worked the festival every year she could, she did the church laundry for as long as I can remember, she was ALWAYS there when she was needed. The grandma that I, and my siblings and cousins, got to know once the Alzheimer’s started to affect her was different. She couldn’t always remember names or things, but she knew enough, and she just didn’t care about the small things anymore. She was laughing and enjoying everything, and boy would she speak her mind to Grandpa. I never saw her do that growing up, he was the Navy man and she was the good wife, and that’s how it was. I’ll happily remember Grandma putting him in his place a few times.

So here we all were sitting on January 24th, wondering when it would be, what would happen, and around 8:30PM that evening we got word that she had gone peacefully. As I said back in Dear C… on April 4th-

“As I’ve said in previous posts, the last year has been a whirlwind of what seems to be unending death. 3 Grandparents, an uncle, 2 family friends, it just seems to be endless. I anticipate more before 2022 closes as well. She was on the phone when my last grandparent took her last breath. She didn’t know it had happened at that moment though. She knew it was coming and even I didn’t know how long it would take. It ended up being in the midst of us talking about something and while I knew and could have told her, I chose not to. Some of you might wonder why and it’s honestly very simple. I needed the conversation to keep going so my mind didn’t set and dwell on something I couldn’t control. I did end up telling her after we talked a while longer. This is what I mean when I say they weren’t wasted conversations. I needed them, more than I care to admit.”[2]

I wrote that back then and it’s true today still. You never know what or who is going to be that difference in the moment, C was in that case. Grandma always moved a bit faster than Grandpa did and I joked that she did it one last time just to show him she could still beat him. We’d gone a year’s time now and my remaining three Grandparents were all gone. Surprisingly none to Covid-19, just to life, as we all will eventually. It was a wild stretch and one that rocked me to my core for a while. I lost a lot of myself dealing with that, as we all did through these last few years, but I found it again eventually. Time, time heals all wounds, sometimes it just takes a while. A long while, I’m in a better headspace now, still not 100%, but closer.

Now we’ll get back to my great-aunt and her story. When we last left off on her we were looking for a place for her to go because she needed something. She couldn’t do -everything- for herself, but she could do all of the basics so when looking we didn’t opt for full time assisted living because she didn’t need that. We found a senior’s community that seemed to be good and had good recommendations and the best part, they had space during Covid and she could move there. The next three weeks were spent getting all of the necessary paperwork, information, money, etc together to make sure this did not get screwed up.

I invested numerous extra hours and sacrificed more sleep than I can ever count but we do what we have to do for those who did for us, right? She was able to move in there in the middle of September 2021 so everything that was worth moving got moved, we bought new furniture that was needed, because some of the old stuff was really old. Everything was in place and we felt good about where it was going. She had a new place with people around and care if needed while someone couldn’t be there. This is great right?

Wrong. While the first month or so there seemed to go well, it fell off rather quickly. They were supposed to help her shower and make sure she had her meals and medications because that was part of what the deal was there. They weren’t doing any of that and we definitely noticed. I am never one to -not- speak my mind so I raised the issue multiple times and finally convinced the rest of the family that we needed to make a change. That took longer than I wanted though. She had severe gold stage COPD, which meant on she was oxygen full time and eventually it would just get to the point where the body would call it quits. We all knew that well in advance so that was not a shock. She had ended up calling 911 about four times while she was in the senior community because of breathing issues. They were told to make sure she did breathing treatments, the machine was there to do them, she had it, and they agreed they would.

One month goes by, and not only are the other things still occurring but they are not doing the breathing treatments either. It was time to get out of there. I chose to leave that place in the hands of the state because I documented everything they didn’t do that they were required to under state law. We’ll see what happens. In February 2022 she ended up permanently going to the same place that my maternal Grandmother was at, and coincidentally enough the exact same room, she even has Grandma’s dresser and chair which were not a cheap item. We had chosen to leave them behind for whomever came along next and needed them because we didn’t. We just never expected it to be us.

In the midst of all of this we lost a second cousin/pseudo uncle to suicide. He fought his battle with those demons for a couple years after experiencing some things that I won’t even write down. I don’t know how he did it or could handle it for as long as he did. We lost another family friend to the same battle, different demons, I don’t know what or why, but another one gone too soon, and a lot of broken people trying to pick up the pieces of what remained. You never really know what someone else is going through, keep that in mind always, because someday that could be you. We also lost a very close family friend of my paternal grandparents. She was an older lady who they vacationed with a lot and that we all knew. Too much death in such a small window of time. I don’t know how to explain how you deal with it all. You just do, somehow.

They took great care of her but as time went on the onset of Dementia or Alzheimer’s, or a combination of the two started to ramp up and the COPD was getting worse. She was getting her treatment and they did everything they could and should. A couple of weeks into July we were contacted by the facility to let us know her oxygen levels had dropped drastically over the weekend to rather dangerous levels. They managed to get them back up thankfully, but we were told that we could do two things. One being a battery of tests to see what was going on and if they could do anything. My Great-Aunt already had signed a DNR and we knew she wouldn’t want a bunch of tests that at the end of the day wouldn’t fix anything. Option two was to call in hospice to make sure she was comfortable and to prepare for the inevitable that we knew was coming. (They had told us at the beginning of the year that she had probably six or so months realistically.) She went peacefully this morning at 3:42AM, July 21st. She made sure we’ll never forget the date because like I said it’s my paternal Grandfather’s birthday as well his and my Grandmother’s anniversary, so now we have a third tether to this day of the year.

I have a ton of good memories with her growing up. Myself, my middle brother, and three of my cousins are all boys who are relatively close in age group so we all liked similar things. My great-aunt never married or had kids so we were all her “kids” and she didn’t miss a chance to show us she cared by getting us something we’d wanted, treating us to food from some fast food place that we probably didn’t need, or loading us up with every kind of candy that Nestle’s made. Yes she worked at Nestle’s for over 20 years and if they made it you can bet we got it and had in mass supply. Was all of it good for us, of course not, but it was all her way of showing love. We had more sleepovers than I can count, we rented hundreds of movies back when that was still a thing, and most of all we had a damn good time every single time we were there. Good memories to have and share amongst us, things I’ll never forget.

January 2021 to August 2022, four of the oldest family members, and four that I was extremely close to, are all gone. It’s part of life I know, but it’s just hard to wrap your head around all of them being gone just like that. I learned a great deal from all of them, my paternal grandfather included even though he was gone far too soon. I’ll remember them always and do my best to make them proud. There are places to go and things to see. Things they didn’t or couldn’t or wouldn’t. I’m not going to pass those up when I get the chance. Life is too short, live it while you can, spend time with those you love and tell them always, you never know when that chance will be taken away from you. This isn’t an I won’t be blogging for a while post or anything like that, I will, it’s my outlet and I love it. I just wanted to talk it all out and this place is the best place for it. Thank you if you read this far, live life, no regrets, do all the things.


[1] PDF (1938-2021) (August 16, 2021)
[2] Dear C… (April 4, 2022)


“But when I get where I’m going
And I see my maker’s face
I’ll stand forever in the light
Of his amazing grace
Yeah when I get where I’m going
There’ll be only happy tears
Hallelujah
I will love and have no fear
When I get where I’m going
Yeah when I get where I’m going”

Brad Paisley – When I Get Where I’m Going [Ft. Dolly Parton]

Credits:

Head: LeLUTKA.Head.NOA.3.1 ~ Jaden Nova
Head Applier:
STRAY DOG – GREG – LELUTKA – TONE 04 ~ Gac Akina
Beard:
[MAGNIFICENT] THOR Bun – Grooming Hair – LeBarbier Alpha
Hairbase:
LeLUTKA.EvoX.Hairbase.044 (BOM) ~ Jaden Nova (Comes with the LeLUTKA NOA Head)
Ears:
^^Swallow^^ Gauged S Ears ~ Luciayes Magic
Beard: [MAGNIFICENT] DUCKY SKUNK – Beard – LeBarbier Alpha
Beard Layer:
Volkstone Rey Facial Hair // 004 TINTABLE (BOM) ~ Daves Hexem
Body:
[LEGACY] Athletic Edition (1.1) ~ MeshBody Resident
Skin:
STRAY DOG – Legacy Skin – TONE 04 (BOM) ~ Gac Akina
Tattoo Top:
DAPPA – Zugai Tattoo. [FRESH] Lelutka EvoX. ~ Devil Fae

Jacket: [Deadwool] Sean jacket ~ Masa Plympton
Vest: [Deadwool] Sean vest ~ Masa Plympton
Pants: [Deadwool] Sean trousers ~ Masa Plympton
Shoes: [Deadwool] Oxford shoes ~ Masa Plympton
Rings/Bracelet: *RE* Aeon Bracelet & Rings ~ Crashnoww Resident
Earrings: = DAE = SXD1 ~ Naomi Darkheart

Pose: CKEY Poses – Lucien series – Lucien 6 ~ Clarisa Congrejo
Backdrop: FOXCITY. Photo Booth – Tea Room ~ Satomi XOXO
Headstones: [LOD Mesh] Headstone ~ Acehole Ixito
Roses: {Petite Maison} Brynn Flower Vase: White Roses ~ Indyra Seigo
Wildflowers 1 & 2: FOXCITY. Decor – Tea Room Wildflowers #1 & #2 ~ Satomi XOXO
Trees/Foliage: Skye Enchanted Woods V3 ~ Alex Bader
Grass 1: HISA – Mixed Grasses ~ Hisastore Resident
Grass 2: HISA – Summer Grass ~ Hisastore Resident
Vines: HISA – Hanging Vines ~ Hisastore Resident

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