June was Hubby’s Mom, my Mother-in-law, Lala’s & Loopsy’s Granny. Or Gramma or Mom-mom or Nana…
We never got the chance to find out what the twins would call her because June’s Cancer took her from us about a month and a half before they were born. Just typing those words fills my eyes with tears and my heart with lead.
Everyone was excited we were pregnant. Everyone was thrilled we were having twins. No one was as excited or thrilled as June. She made a collage announcing that she was going to have Two Granddaughters and she hung it on her apartment door. She started collecting bibs and blankets and other baby gear. She bought us a pack-n-play. She was on Cloud 9. Then her illness took over.
She had just about every Cancer under the sun. The pain was excruciating, so she was put on pain patches. Yes, those pain patches you see on those Law Help commercials. June, always a little quirky, truly lost her marbles on those patches. I’ll never forget trying to help Hubby convince her she needed to go to the hospital, that something was wrong and she needed help.
“Mom?” I’d said, “Let’s go to the ER. On the way, you can hold my belly and wait for the girls to kick.”
She looked at me as if she’d never met me and just kept twisting a lock of her hair around her finger until it was tight then pulling that hair right out. When Hubs or I would take a step towards her, she’d start screaming and waving her arms. She eventually backed herself into the corner of her dining room.
“Go ahead and sit down, Scroogy.” Hubby’d said, “We’re gonna have to call an ambulance to help get her out of here.”
After she was weaned off the patches, she got better for a while. She and I would sit in her dimly lit room and complain about our nausea and back pain. I always conceded that she had me beat in those departments. She was almost back to normal. The “old bag” as she used to refer to herself.
Once I was on bed rest, I was unable to visit her and she was too sick to visit me. Her health went steeply downhill. And even though Hubby tried to shield me from the worst of it, the evidence of her condition was obvious in his eyes. Soon hospice was called in. Then she was moved to a hospice center.
On December 30, 2007, Hubby was at Stella Maris visiting his mom. His sisters and his aunt had finally made it to MD. They had all come to say goodbye. It was late, probably about 10:30 or 11:00 and I started to feel quivery, shaky, and I knew. Less than an hour later, Hubby called me with the news. June was gone. He held her as she took her last breath. There was a harpist in the room, he’d said. It was peaceful.
June, I know you’re here. I feel you all the time. I know it was you that the girls would giggle at when they were teeny babies. I know it’s you that helps me keep my balance on the stairs. I hope you recognize that goofy twinkle in Loopsy’s eye as your own. She looks so very much like you. I hope you see how crafty and inventive Lala is and know she got that from you too. I hope you know how much your son loves and misses you. You did a good job there, June. I owe you so much.
Happy Mother’s Day, June. Love you.