In the summer of 2008 my great grandfather passed away. He had been in the hospital for a long time before this, but seemed to be doing better so his passing was a shock to all of my small family. After his death my mom informed me I would be staying with my great grandmother, his wife of 50 something years. I wasn’t really close to her any longer, and at first i thought of this as a punishment. I mean what 14 year old wants to spend his whole summer with a 78 year old lady?
The first two weeks were uncomfortable and often awkward as we both grieved over the loss of my great grandfather. After those first weeks however, my great grandmother and I became really close and I often found myself ASKING to go back over to spend days on end with her. We had become friends. I told her everything from girl issues to everyday things that just bugged me.
When school resumed in August, we remained close and I called her often. In January 2009 she was put into the hospital and many in my family did not believe she would be coming out. But I had a feeling that it wasn’t yet her time to go. I was right! She had come out of the hospital and soon went back to her apartment. I was then told that she was diagnosed with acute leukemia and was only expected to live for six months to a year. This was unbelievably hard for me to accept and try to deal with.
In November that same year she was taken back into hospital. From the moment we got to the emergency room I knew these would be our last few times we would see each other. I moped around a lot and was often quiet, spending time with her in her hospital room. I know she could tell I was sad and we would often just sit in the silence. She was taken in on a Sunday and I was sad all week and would often have to go to the bathroom just so i could breakdown and cry.
On Wednesday night after crying myself to sleep I had a dream. In the dream I was in a meadow or forest of some type. In the meadow there were three women in long white dresses besides me. One, who was tall with long brown hair, stepped forward. She resembled my mom but wasn’t her. Anyway the women came to me and took my chin in her soft hand. She made me look up at her and wiped the tears out of my eyes and said to me in her soft voice “I know what’s happening and I am okay. Don’t worry about me. I love you and will always be here.” she kissed me gently on the forehead and backed away. That’s the last thing i remember of that dream.
Early Friday morning, around 1 or 2 in the morning, we got a call to come to the hospital quickly because my great grandma wasn’t doing well. When we arrived she seemed to be sleeping but was informed that this was it, that she was dying. I cried and fell asleep in my mom’s arms in the waiting room outside the ICU where my grandma was.
While asleep I had another dream. It was the same women from my previous dream two nights before. She came to me and whispered “Carlos, come to me. I need you here.” She then exited out of the waiting room door and I woke up. My grandfather who was sitting in the chair next to mine asked if everything was alright but I did not answer him; I simply got up and walked back into my great grandmother’s hospital room.
Within twenty minutes of me being there she passed away. While i was extremely sad, I had an odd feeling of warmth bubble up inside me. I knew she was telling me it was okay.
Since then there have been nights where I’ve awakened from a deep sleep to the feeling of someone rubbing my head gently or someone watching over me. While many people might get scared of these feelings, I’m not. I don’t feel threatened or alarmed, just simply loved and that’s how I know my great grandmother is an angel who watches over me and protects me.