My grandmother, my last living grandparent, turned 88 the week after I left for Paraguay. I knew when I went to visit her in the days before I left home I would likely never see her again, as she has been battling a range of health issues for a while now. I lingered during that visit as long as I could, trying to record in my head the sound of her voice as she asked with hope that I write to her, trying to burn into my brain every detail of that visit, trying to choke back the tears that fought desperately to spill down my cheeks before I could catch them, knowing this was likely the last time with her … for anything. I did not want her to know that I knew. I wanted to pretend everything would be fine. She has bounced back and surprised us before. But this time is different. Even her doctors have said it’s time. She is in hospice. It is simply a matter of time.

She knows. She’s ready. She’s been ready. It’s the rest of us that struggle to come to grips with the sunset of her life, to miss the love that she spreads so naturally, to feel the warmth of her home and the delighted twinkle in her eye when you enter the room. None of us will ever question her love for us.

Though I am 5000 miles away and unable to be with her, I’ve been fortunate to have had her all these years, to have the chance to say goodbye, to tell her I love her, to wish her a final Happy Birthday, and hold her hand one last time.

Please keep my family in your thoughts.

(PS- I will be traveling to other parts of the country this week for training and unable to post again until next weekend.)

Categories: Peace Corps Paraguay | 6 Comments

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6 thoughts on “Sunsets

  1. You bring tears to my eyes- Your words telling of her beautiful life and of the sunflowers she has given to this world- She knows and hears your every word Wendy- Reach out and hold here hand- In my thoughts and thank you for sharing this with us-

  2. Thomas

    Thanks W for touching my heart.

  3. Lisa Miller

    Hi Wendy – just wanted you to know that you, your family, and your grandma are in my thoughts. It’s so hard to be away at times like these but all the better that you were with your grandma while she was better and excited for you and your journey. Her next journey will be a safe and serene one and she’ll be keeping a watchful eye over you, showing up in unseen and subtle ways just when you need a touch of reassurance. It’s clear that you’ve found a great path for you. Enjoy and know that your grandma is truly happy for you. Thanks for sharing your blog.


  4. Sherry

    Yes, I understand your feelings completely. When I left the family she told me she always considered me as a daughter in-law. It was such a feeling of loss. Nothing would ever be the same again.

  5. Tammy Harmon

    Oh Wendy! I love you so much! I admire your strength and dedication! You’re an amazing woman! Gram would be so proud of you recognizing your dreams! I know if you close your eyes you can smell cookies baking! See us sitting around the table waiting patiently with our special cups and strawberry Nestle Quik! I’m smiling through my tears as I recall those days, amazing days! We are so very blessed to have the love of such an incredible woman! I think we all have some of her lovely qualities and I thank GOD every day for that! I’m also proud to say she is my Gram, my world, my rock! I love you Wendy and you are with us everyday! In our hearts and thoughts! Xoxoxo more than I can put in print!

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