Saying Good-bye to Bobo (Part II)

Written en route to Manchester, NH - September 13, 2012

The tops of the Channel Islands peek out over a sea of clouds.  I can barely see them, unable to distinguish between my misty achy eyesight and the milky gray fog blanketing the California coast.  It was a mere three weeks ago I took a similar departing path to visit my grandmother for the last time.

Bobo passed away at 1:50 am on September 12, 2012.  Just shy of 6 months after the passing of my dad's mom and a mere week after Bobo broke her hip.  The process is uncomfortable to think about, to reflect on, to have heard during the endless hours of day and night while I wept into the phone with my mom.  An incredibly strong will mixed with fear and 96 years of deep dark encumbrances tormented my grandmother's final days.  My own tears and personal anguish were for her pain and the internal battles that raged on inside of her while the morphine soothed her on the surface.  I learned so much about Bobo in her final weeks, more than I knew in my 33 1/2 years of being her granddaughter.  Her anger, her sharp tongue, her snarky wit were all a shield to protect her from being hurt by the people who loved her.  One September 12, she finally let her guard down and allowed Mom's love in... and most importantly, the light and love of God.

The evening of September 11, as Matt and I stood with our hands over our hearts at a local ballgame, the Antelope Valley Color Guard played Taps in remembrance of the World Trade Center tragedy 11 years ago.  My eyes welled up with tears, knowing in my heart that night would be Bobo's last.  Unlike the evening before - where I stayed up wailing like a little girl, praying for God's peace on my grandmother, clutching the handmade frame Bobo had given me just a few weeks before, staring at the rich star blanketed sky - I was finally able to fall fast asleep.  Not even a ringing phone at midnight PST disturbed my slumber.  I bolted up at 4 am, scared I hadn't heard from my mom, to discover a disheartening voicemail informing me of Bobo's passing earlier that morning.

And now, 24 hours later, Matt and I are on our way again to New England, to bid our farewells to Bobo.  I look out my little window over the wrinkled landscape and remember all those times Bobo would see me and my mom off at the airport gate when we'd fly back home in the summers.  She would insist we tell the pilot to fly safe and get us back home safely.  Today, my request is to the pilot of this morning's nonstop flight from Dallas to Boston...

My mom and grandmother are on that flight.  The most difficult flight my mother has ever taken.  Dear Pilot - please fly safe.  Please get my mom and her most precious cargo home safely.  I insist.

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