As the Queen Falls

My hero is lying in a hospital bed with multiple tubes intermingled in and out of her frail body. She stopped talking and eating days ago; a BiPAP machine is doing the heavy lifting for her lungs. Her sunken eyes occasionally flutter, attempting to open.

My grandmother is dying. And if there is a little of her left in that body, she is pissed about it. The nurses continue to swing her swollen legs back into the bed as it appears she is trying to get up; she pinches them in retaliation. A fighter, she has always been. My mother and best friend is fighting the call from her ancestors. And like a child who believes that fairytales exist and superheroes are real, I am rooting for her.

I have had two emotional breakdowns in the past month. The first was after I called to speak to her a week ago. She was moaning and attempting to speak but failed. Her condition has rapidly declined; she was fighting a fever and what we thought was pneumonia. I was heartbroken. I realized then that the last time she told me loved me was likely the last time she would get to say it aloud, which just a few days prior.

The other breakdown was last night, when I received the news that her physician had recommended hospice, to discontinue aggressive treatment. She had vomited several times, even though she had not eaten in days. The feeding tube in her nose had been sustaining her. Her lungs were fluid-filled and her kidneys are struggling to keep up with her body’s waste elimination. Treat one set of organs and others fail. That is the prognosis.

I plan to make the 6-hour round trip tomorrow to Alabama to see her for 30 minutes, the allotted visitation time in ICU, and say goodbye. Even if by some miracle she survives, she will not be the same. Her dementia will likely accelerate, and she will no longer be able to take care of herself in any way. And as the tears filled my eyes as I type this, I acknowledge my unjustified disappointment that she is not the immortal and formidable woman I had always envisioned. Her life, though precious and monumental, is transient.

If only my love could catch her as she falls.

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9 thoughts on “As the Queen Falls

  1. LaToya, I am so sorry. Your grandmother was a special lady. She lived you more than you can imagine and Zi know you love her in the same way. I will be praying for you as you see her. I know how hard it is to give up the special person in your life love you!!!!!


  2. Like I told you a few days ago I can’t honestly say I feel your pain because I have never been in your current position but I do offer sympathy. You are special Buggs and I’m sure your grandmother feels that you are as well. I’m willing to bet you inherited some of your grandmother’s great qualities. Keep being the wonderful person you are and she will continue to live through you. I’m here for you, remember that.


  3. I know how special your grandma is to you. She has truly been a queen. I deliver MANNA and I realized she hadn’t been getting a meal I wondered about her. I normally leave her meals but the times I did get a chance to speak to her she was so sweet as always. LaToya, you and the rest of the family are in my prayers.


  4. Melcie,
    My thoughts and prayers are extended to you and your entire family at this time. Mrs. Annie is so special to my twin and me. We spent hours at her house as children. As we grew up, she has remained just as special to us. God is in control. We love you all!


  5. She is my mentor. If half the mothers were like her this world would be a better place. This just literally broke my heart. I pray she is ok yet I know its Gods will. Please know she touched so many people in positive ways that her life was is a blessing. She is the mother grandmother sister aunt neighbor and friend of us all. Her words helped us all grow. Her door in 11st was always open to talk. She would sit on that porch and make sure everybody kids did right. I feel so blessed to know her and I’m so sorry for all the pain yall are feeling at this time. Prayers as she rests. And know I’m here for you all in any way.


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