Some would say it is infringing upon our freedom to mandate us to wear masks. I say, if someone would have been wearing their mask, perhaps I would still have my grandparents. You see, they went to a service where someone came to church unknowingly with the virus, and they contracted the virus. Several of the congregation from that service were all in the hospital at the same time. I also contracted the virus from my grandparents. They had no symptoms other than congestion, and I was with them. I was hospitalized on August 22, 2020.

My grandmother was moved to ICU. She was on the 2nd floor, and I was on the 6th. She quickly took a turn for the worse. Her body started to shut down. There was nothing they could do to save her. I begged and pleaded with the hospital staff to take me down to be with her during her dying moments, but they couldn’t because of potential exposure to others. I get it; I understand they were trying to protect anyone that I could possibly come in contact with.

My daughter was able to suit up in a hazmat suit to go in and be with my grandmother. She looked like those people on the movie E.T. when they went in to Elliot’s home. I had power of attorney, so I gave the orders to take my grandmother off of life support per her wishes. As I watched her take her last few breaths, I sang her into heaven over FaceTime on August 25, 2020.

Planning her funeral was like nothing I have ever experienced. I planned her funeral from my hospital bed. I emailed back and forth with the funeral director. They sent me a link to a catalog to pick out the casket and a link to pick out the memorial cards and the verse to have printed. I called the nursing station with an odd request. I needed paper and a pen to write my grandmothers obituary which they brought with extra Kleenex.

The day I was released from the hospital, my grandfather was admitted. He had developed pneumonia from COVID-19. He called me and told me to get him out of there, convinced they were trying to kill him. I spoke with the doctors, and they sent him back home. He was so weak we had to call the ambulance to help us get him inside because I was also weak and couldn’t help him.

After being home for two days, he went back to the hospital by ambulance. This time, he wouldn’t come home. He called me begging me to take him off of all the machines and let him die. I can hear his tear-filled voice play over and over in my head. I had power of attorney, so I had to make the call once again. He lived for two days without all of the oxygen and machines. Once again, I couldn’t be with him. I could only see him through his window. They held a phone up to his ear so I could sing his favorite song. He had asked me a few days before, but I didn’t have the lyrics. I went to his house and found my grandmother’s little songbook that she always took to church every time they would go just so I could make sure to sing to him one last time. I visited him peering through his window the night before he passed away. He was at Hospice when he passed, September 7, 2020.

All of my life, they had longed for the day when they would meet Jesus. I know they were beyond words when in His presence they stood. I can only imagine the smiles on their faces as well as the relief they had knowing they finally made it home. They taught me so much while they walked this earth, but the most treasured memory I have is going to church with them all of my life. They loved the Lord; they lived for the Lord; they longed to be with the Lord. They have finally made it home. I am happy for them, but my heart breaks without them here. At 44 years old, I find myself feeling lost. A big part of my heart is missing. It will never be able to be filled.

My grandparents were my world. I took care of them for the last nine years; I didn’t know how to function without them when they passed away; I still do not know how to do this thing called life without them, but I am trying.

They were my rock; they were my safety net; they were there for me through every sad moment, through every happy moment; they never missed a beat.

My first big event happened this past weekend without them. My youngest daughter got married. My grandmother wanted to be there so much for this special day. She and her husband had been together for nearly seven years as a couple. Every time my grandmother would see them, she would ask, “When are the two of you going to get married?” She would have loved the wedding. My daughter looked like a princess. It was a fairy tale wedding, with only two important parts missing, Ma and Pa.

So, for those of you who think the masks are nonsense, please just wear them for the sake of your grandparents. You might just save their lives by doing so. Get vaccinated. Maybe it will help; maybe it won’t. But it certainly can’t hurt.