Relay For Life

I was raised by my mom and my grandmother.  My dad left when I was a tiny, tiny baby, and my mom needed help.  I had a close bond with my grandmother, but it was nothing compared to the bond that Trinity had with her.

From the moment Trinity was born, I could tell that my grandmother was in love.  I mean, who couldn’t be?  There’s just a special, special thing between a child and her great grandmother, or ‘Gram Great’ as Trinity eventually called her.

Gram Great was a smoker the majority of her life.  She quit while I was a freshman in high school, after watching her sister lose the fight to lung cancer caused by asbestos exposure.

She didn’t quit soon enough, though, because she was eventually diagnosed with lung cancer.  Thankfully a combination of radiation and chemotherapy helped force the lung cancer into remission.  They had caught it early while it was just a small spot, and we thought everything was fine.

A few years later, she started having moments of confusion, moments where she’d forget what she was saying or just totally forget a word.  We thought we were going to hear that she was developing Alzheimer’s or Dementia.  Nothing could have prepared us for the news we received.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  I received the news that my grandmother had a brain tumor on our first Halloween in Jersey.  I waited a day to tell Trinity the news.  I knew it would break her heart, and I didn’t want it to ruin her favorite holiday.

The doctors started her on aggressive treatments, but her condition continued to deteriorate.  She eventually had to stay at a nursing home.  It was hard for my mom and aunts to get her to her appointments.

Trinity and Gram Great

It soon became clear that the tumor was putting pressure on her brain in such a way that it was making her nauseous all the time.  She was unable to keep her medication down.  She was becoming even more confused.  It was clear that she didn’t have much time left.  My mom and her sisters, with my grandmother’s input, made the impossibly difficult choice to put her on hospice and stop fighting.

For the next few weeks, we tried to make the trip up to Central Pa from Jersey, but something always got in the way.  There were snow storms and emergencies at Daniel’s work.  It was breaking my heart to think that Trinity and I might not get to say goodbye.  Thankfully, we got the chance.  We were finally able to make it back.  We spent a few hours sitting in her room talking to her.  She was asleep, of course, but we took the opportunity to tell her everything that was happening in Jersey.

Last Picture

This is the last photo ever taken of them together.

We left late that evening, and a few hours later we received that call that it wouldn’t be long.  My mom and my aunts were with her that early morning when she took her last breath.

This was Trinity’s first experience with death, and it had to be one of her favorite people.  How do you explain to an 8 year old that her Gram Great was gone?  It broke my heart to relay the news to her, to see the pain in her face.  It just wasn’t fair, but I guess death really isn’t ever fair.

This was also Trinity’s first experience with cancer, and she thinks it sucks.  I think everyone can agree with her, right?  When her Choir Teacher made the announcement that the choir would be performing at The Relay For Life in Mantua this year and that she was forming a team to participate, Trinity jumped at the chance.

She’s relaying for Gram Great.  She’s relaying so less people have to lose someone they love in such an awful way.  She’s relaying to kick cancer’s butt.

I hate asking for things, but she’s accepting donations for the American Cancer Society.  If you would like to support her, you can make a donation with your debit or credit card through her Relay Page.  If you’d like to make a cash donation, there’s a link with more information on that page, or you can contact me through any method listed on my Contact Me page.  We’d really appreciate any support from you guys, but don’t feel obligated.

Hopefully one day cancer will be one of those diseases that ‘used to be a big deal’, just a bad memory.

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About pamasaurus

"I have learned to keep to myself how exceptional I am." ~Mason Cooley I'm a married stay at home mom living in Southern New Jersey. I have one daughter, one son, and three furbabies. I love to cook. I love to craft. I love to sew. I just.... love to create in general. I also am pretty fond of adventuring, of exploring new places. I'm shy when I first meet people, but once I'm comfortable with them, you can't shut me up. I'm crazy and silly. I have an unhealthy obsession with dinosaurs.
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45 Responses to Relay For Life

  1. msdulce says:

    This made me tear up- the last picture of Trinity & Gram Great, in particular. I was raised by my grandma & dad while my mom was struggling with drug addiction, and I can only imagine the love that you still have for your grandmother. I also love that Trinity has decided to respond to loss by helping others. It’s my honor to donate to such a worthy cause. I’m sure your Gram Great would be so, so proud of the both of you today. Good luck to Trinity on the 17th!

    • pamasaurus says:

      Thank you so much for your donation and support! We both really appreciate it. <3333

      That bond that you form with a live-in grandparent is amazing, isn't it? Sorry your mom was battling demons, and I hope she's doing much better now.

      And… sorry to make you tear up 😉

      • msdulce says:

        No, no- definitely tearing up in a good way! 🙂 The love between Trinity & Gram Great was just so evident and wonderful to see. Supporting is the least I can do- Trinity will be doing all the hard work!

  2. LKD says:

    This is a beautiful post, but I’m sorry you had to write it. Grandparents are gifts. Great-grandparents are gifts. You all were a gift to her, and I’m sorry you lost Gran Great this way.

    She’ll be with Trinity during the race and for all the days after.

  3. Bonnie says:

    I still think of mom today and what she went through, but i remember best Trinity and Gram Great sick Trin in one bed room throwing up and mom in hers both couldn’t keep any thing down. I’m not one to be around this type of stuff because i get sick and throwing up myself but i did it i kept it together and went from one room to the other checking up on them.

  4. I cried. Cancer sucks!!

  5. picassoqueen says:

    I agree this is a beautiful post and it made me cry too. I’m so glad you guys were able to say goodbye but am sorry you had to go through that. Mammaw is my world, and I don’t even want to think about losing her. I am so proud of Trinity too for taking a stance for such a worthy charity.

  6. Juliet says:

    This brought tears to my eyes. It’s so heart wrenching to watch someone you love suffer from cancer. I’m so sorry you and your family had to go through this.

    What a great way for Trinity to remember and pay tribute to her precious great grandma.

    • pamasaurus says:

      Sorry to make you cry, but thank you for your comment and support. Cancer is awful, and you’re right, it is hard to watch anyone fade away from it.

  7. Dabbit says:

    Written from the heart you can feel the emotion in your words! I (as a grand parent and parent) know the bond between grand children and grand parents can be extremely strong. We currently have an advert on TV here that says the things you do about cancer and it is true, hopefully they will soon find a complete cure for it! Hope Trinity does well in her relay!

  8. I’m sorry for your loss!
    I think you made clear she was a great woman and she’ll be missed.
    I’m glad you had the chance to say goodbye, she must’ve heard it!

    • pamasaurus says:

      Thank you so much for your kind comment!!

      I really think she was holding out to say goodbye to Trinity, and I’m so glad we got the chance when we did.

  9. scsurfbutler says:

    Well that was a tear jerker! Your daughter is lucky to have had and have strong women in her life. Keep up the good work!

    • pamasaurus says:

      If you cried reading, imagine what I was doing while writing it! It was definitely hard to do. Thanks for your kind comment!

  10. That was such a heart felt and beautiful dedication to such an inspirational part of your life my friend. Thank you for sharing and my love goes out to you and your family.

    Hugs
    Uru

  11. So sweet! I’m way behind reading posts and I’m so glad I got in on this. The picture of Trinity and her Gram Great was beautiful! Just made my donation!

    • pamasaurus says:

      I’m behind on reading posts, too! This week has just been busy for everyone, I guess 😀

      Thank you so much for your donation. We really appreciate it. Hopefully one day cancer is one of those distant memories, right?

  12. Angie says:

    Beautiful post Pam…

  13. Angie says:

    You must be so proud of Trinity!!! Going to her Relay page now…:D

  14. mhdriver says:

    I’m sorry to here that Trinity no longer has her Great Gram and I’m sorry that you lost someone very special in your life. You’re right Cancer Sucks. we’ve lost too many people that were close to us in our life. Tell Trinity I send my prayers to her and you too. Jim

    • pamasaurus says:

      Thank you so much ❤ Cancer really does suck. Hopefully one day they can find a cure!!

      • mhdriver says:

        My wife and I have lost three very close friends with in the past twelve months due to cancer. All three of them where like family. Cancer Sucks

      • pamasaurus says:

        Oh, no. I’m so sorry for your losses! You and yours are in my thoughts and prayers as well.

      • mhdriver says:

        Thank You Pam. It seems when you get older Friends become like family and you become very close. It was just as hard to lose one of these friends as it almost was as losing a family member. My prayers are with you and yours. Jim

  15. TrashBash says:

    Hi Pam, i’m so sorry for your loss. I can relate to Trinity, in the sense that recently i have lost family member I was close to, used to seeing, having conversations with…and I’m 26!. It’s an experience that no one, let alone a child should have to face but I guess it’s part of the growth purpose on this strange planet; with people like you in her life, championing her cause in joining the fight to kick cancer in the butt – this just gives me hope for the future and she needs to know that she has us all behind her. This is beautifully written, I hope you stash this away for Trinity to read when she’s older. xx

    • pamasaurus says:

      Thank you so much for your kind comment! I’ll be sure to hold on to this post (and all the awesome comments!!) for her. I know she appreciates all the support everyone is giving her. You guys all rock!

  16. Bupe Rose says:

    Definitely an emotional and painful experience to go through. Praying that the wonderful memories and bonds you shared will sustain you. The picture of your daughter and grandma is a treasure. Bless!

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