Last Thursday, Great-grandma went into the hospital with congestive heart failure. We didn't think much of it, because she's had it many many times before and always pulls through. Well on Friday, great-grandma had a stroke. Her left side...paralyzed and she could no longer speak or open her eyes. We talked to her and held her hand....and she held ours back....we knew she could hear us and feel us. I put Pam on the phone so she could let grandma know how much she loves her. On Saturday, we did the same. On Sunday we had planned a 98th birthday party for her. She told Jimmy weeks ago that if she couldn't make it for any reason, that he is to still have that party....so we did. We had family there and they talked about old times. We had a slide show of old pictures, and they reminisced. My dad and a family friend drove people in groups up to the hospital to see grandma. Nobody at that party thought it would be the last time they would see her alive....or at least living...cause for great-grandma....not being able to speak or move wasn't living. On Tuesday, I met Frankie by his school and we walked up to see her......she still had her eyes closed. It was heart-breaking to see a woman so alive and in love with life now laying in a hospital bed unable to do what she loved. I put Pam on the phone and as she and the kids were talking, grandma rubbed the pillow next to her. We didn't stay long, but as we were leaving, grandma scratched her head....I yelled in her ear "Grandma....Grandma" and she tried to open her eyes. I went home and told my mom.....and when she went up there she opened grandma's eyes for her (the nurses hadn't cleaned around her eyes, and so the crusty stuff held her eyes shut when she tried to open them). The doctor said she could be like this for days, weeks, even months.....so when he released her to the nursing home on Friday, we told them we don't want a feeding tube put in....just give her the IV. Great-grandma wouldn't want to live like this, and she had told us not to keep her alive under any means if it came down to it. We saw her on Saturday and held her hand, looked into her eyes, and said our goodbyes. My mom told her not to worry....that the family would take care of each other and that we want her to go if she has to. She told her she knows she wants to see her kids up in heaven, and that she didn't want her to fight to stay alive....that we understood and if it was her time to go...that we wanted her to go in peace. On Sunday, she couldn't open her eyes anymore....the nurse at the home asked if she was Catholic, and if we wanted a priest to come give her last rites. We said yes, and when we got to the home today, the priest had just left. The nurse was in the room taking care of grandma's roommate, so we couldn't go in, but grandma heard our voices and moved her head a little. When we got in the room, she was gone.
Rest in Peace Great-Grandma.....we love you and miss you....but we know you're home now and watching over us.
Raffaela "Fannie" (Terracciano) Perna October 4, 1907 - September 26, 2005