My Grandma, My “She-roe”
The following was written by United Way of Greater Greensboro’s Communication Associate, Amy Hager. She tells all about her “she-roe” and the impact she has had on her life- reminding us that we all have the power to make a difference.
There are many attributes that make you look up to someone; bravery, honesty, perseverance, integrity, and strength, but a true hero is one that has all of those attributes. Heroes can be a coach that helped you reach your goal or a parent who has always been there for you. For me, my hero, or rather, my “She-r0e” is my grandma.
I picked my grandma as my “She-roe” because to so many people she was just that. She was such a wonderful grandma. She was always taking me on new adventures; whether it was taking me to Disney World or going on an imaginary stroll through the candy store. I never knew what to expect when I was with her, but I always knew I would have a great time just because she was there. There was never a time that she didn’t make me smile or laugh. Even all my friends loved her and she loved all of them. They all thought of my grandma as a second grandma to them; always welcoming everyone with her charming personality. Everything was just perfect until she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
At first no one would tell me what was wrong other then she was just sick because of my age. But I always knew it was more than that. She had to go into the hospital multiple times but came out within a few weeks. But as the “sickness” got worse she went into the hospital for longer periods of time and I was told that it was actually ovarian cancer. I couldn’t bear to hear those words, and neither could my grandma. But do you think she let that slow her down? No. She stayed stronger than ever, much stronger than me. She battled cancer for 5 years. But she never showed a trace of doubt. She made sure she did everything she could to beat cancer and still had fun at the same time. She went on cruises, climbed waterfalls and went to beautiful islands with my grandpa; who was her biggest supporter. It wasn’t until my birthday that she got really bad. She went into the hospital after my party and stayed there for many months. She slowly got worse and everyone was beginning to lose faith. But not her. Not my grandma. She’s too strong. She made the nurses give her all her medicine at the right time. The tests that the doctors held showed no sign of improvement. That’s when she took a turn for the worse. She was told she may only have a few days to live. My grandma took this as her chance to live the rest of her life to the fullest. She made a ton of jokes and never stopped smiling. I didn’t know she had a few days left until my guidance counselor took me out of class to tell me my dad was here. He told me he wanted me to go to the hospital with him. I knew right then she didn’t have much time.
When we got to the hospital all the nurses and doctors looked at me with the saddest eyes I have ever seen. I walked into the room and saw my grandma smiling, of course. I stayed and talked to her for a little while. My mom took me out into the hallway and told me they were going to make her fall asleep. After she fell asleep they would turn off the machines that helped almost all of her breathing. When I went back into the room I was only allowed to stay a few more minutes. But I couldn’t even stay that long without crying. My grandma knew once I left it would be the last time she saw me and this would be the last time I ever saw her too. I kissed her on the cheek and whispered “I love you”. She whispered “I love you too”. I hugged her and walked into the hallway and cried. The next day, I was at home playing outside when my dad took me into my room and told me she had not made it. It took me a few moments to comprehend what my dad just told me and then I cried all night long.
I try not to be sad when I think about my grandma. I prefer to reminisce about all the wonderful times we had. I like to live my life how she lived hers: confident and fearless. She will always be my she-roe.
Who is your she-roe? Share your your story about who has made a personal difference in your life.