My mom and I went to go see my grandma in the hospital on a chilly December afternoon. I had just talked to her last night and, honestly, I couldn't contain my excitement to visit.
Since she got admitted, it was the longest time in my entire life that I had gone without seeing her.
As we made our way through hallways at the hospital, I began formulating a list of all the things I wanted to tell her.
I brought her a handwritten copy of my Christmas list too, just in case she wanted to see it.
When we crossed the double doors into the ICU, my grandpa stopped us. He told me to go sit down by the nurse's station and he kept my mom back, talking to her for a few minutes.
After a couple of confused looks and more crying by my mom, my grandpa called me over and said I could go see my grandma.
With my Christmas list in hand, I went into the room ready recite my memorized speech.
I still have nightmares about what I saw when they pulled back the curtain to her room.
My grandma was lying there in her hospital bed, tubes down her throat, and hooked to tons of machines. She was concious, though.
My mom walked my up to her side and told me to go ahead and talk to her. That she could hear me but she just wouldn't be able to say anything back because she needed the tubes to help her breath.
I put my Christmas list on her lap and told her I loved her and I couldn't wait til she got out.
Although she couldn't say anything, she had a look in her eyes that said everything she needed to. It was happiness, mixed with just a touch of sadness and confusion.
It also had that feeling that you get when you know you'll never see someone again.
That's when everything finally set in. I understood what was going on - my grandma was going to die.