rest for pilgrims

A house of shelter or rest for pilgrims, strangers, etc. 

If you look up hospice in the dictionary, that's the first definition you'll find.

I learned yesterday that my grandmother is now under hospice care. She's traveled slowly down the road of Alzheimer's for about seven or eight years. 

She wouldn't know me if she saw me today. Because she lives in Maine (and because she can no longer hold a phone conversation), it's been a long time since I've seen or talked to her. 

This is my sweet Nana. I miss her terribly. I've missed her for a while, so I was a bit shocked by the fresh wave of grief when the word "hospice" came from my dad's mouth.

If anyone deserves a house of shelter or rest, it's you Nan. You've always been the picture of strength, determination, patience, tough love, and kindness. Witty. Sharp as a tack. Quick to speak your mind. A big heart and a big laugh. Hands always moving, always warm, with slight callouses from a lifetime of caring for a hospital full of patients, four children, and ten grandchildren. 

At Thanksgiving especially, I think of you. I wear the cross necklace you gave me on Thanksgiving when I was in fourth grade. I remember the holidays in Boston, all of us packed into two rooms while the rest of the house sat empty. Jumping on your couches, playing dress-up in your closet, the smell of some form of Italian food mixed with cigar smoke hanging in the air.

I'm grateful for you. In every way.

1 comment:

sueper33 said...

You have a lot of Nana's qualities. I'm touched by your sharing...