Grandma Died Still Teaching Me Lessons ~ Finale

Grandma died…the finale
Supervisor should be coached…
The next day at work, a personal phone call came in for me. The bank was not so keen on employees receiving personal phone calls regardless of the reason. The nurse at the nurses station told me to come right away, grandma was failing.

Asking my supervisor for permission to leave she denied the request. I pleaded my case, but she firmly refused. There was no time in my mind for negotiations. I told her I was leaving. I explained that I understood if she had to fire me, but I was going to my grandma’s side.
Test of courage and strength…
As I arrived at the hospital, I took a deep breath while walking down the long corridor. There was no time to be sobbing; I had to be strong for grandma, to encourage her to be strong just like she had done for me when I was growing up. She was sleeping when I walked into the room and the nurses motioned for me to come into the hallway to talk.

The doctor, a friend of mine, came to tell me that grandma would pass away quietly. She would simply stop breathing. I was so thankful my friend was there. In spite of hospital protocol and professional image, he just held me as I sobbed in disbelief. He comforted me with the thought that she would just go to sleep, no pain at all.
My  Grandma deVore valued her family more than all the gold in the hills. It was important that we were by her side now. As I sat holding her hand, I whispered stories that I remembered from that year together, when I was in kindergarten.  Sometimes I laughed and sometimes I cried.
For two hours, I stroked her hands and just talked. I had sent an urgent message to my mom, her brothers and my family to come, quick. Then with one squeeze of her hand, her final gift to me ~ slipping peacefully into the sleep like state, grandma died.
As the tears fell down my cheeks, I said my goodbyes. Mom arrived too late to say goodbye to her mom and I left the room to allow her some private time. As family trickled in, I found myself in a numbed state. I went to the lounge to call my daughter to give her the sad news about her great grandma.
Then the unimaginable happened. My supervisor called for me using the nurses’ station phone line. She asked me the status and requested I return to work. Can you imagine ~ the gall?
What would I do with the coaching grandma gave…
The lesson I learned through that sordid mess with my supervisor was it is possible to do what is right if you want to. To keep your priorities straight will give you a sense of peace. I was able to grieve grandma’s passing easier than in past deaths in the family. I totally shut down for three days while my grief took its toll. Even though I could not prevent her passing, I was there for her, holding her hand as she took her last breath. Ultimately, family is more important than any job, period.

Can you imagine how she would have felt if I had chosen my job over her in her time of need? I do not know about you, but I do not ever want to imagine that. Now I know why grandma taught me how to work. She was coaching me. She saw something in me even at a young age. My grandma saw a leader, a business owner who was capable of coaching others in business. Someone able to lift them up instead of working as a puppet with no emotion, heart or common sense.

My hope for each one of you is this. Maybe my grandma and her lessons can help coach you on to the greatness within you. With full permission take these stories, share them with your family and friends. Everyone needs a grandma and the coaching they give to the families across the globe that they love so intently.

Here to Serve,

Carla J Gardiner

Carla J Gardiner is an ex-banker turned entrepreneur who built an auto transport brokerage and dispatch center from the ground up. With half a days training and little else Carla learned the business inside and out the hard way…by doing it. Her passion and purpose lies with the people she works with daily; the client, dispatcher, broker and truck driver. Her frustration within the industry has birthed a new division of her company; one to properly train, encourage and mentor other professionals in auto transport.
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  • Carla … I can relate to this event so clearly. When I left work when my uncle was passing – my supervisor said “There is nothing you can do if he is dieing. I looked at her with cold fire in my eyes and let her know he would drop what ever he had to be with me – drove 40 miles one time to bring me A CONTACT when the one I had in tore. The man was a jewel. My job is important – but my family passes just once. I love them and will always choose them over the job. Grandma was proud of you – she coached you well

    • admin

      Pretty amazing Angela that we have stories so close. What is with the work place that family has no value. For pity sakes, that is why we work, to feed and clothe our families…not for the social club. I can’t wait for your time to come Angela, and it is just around the corner, when you can kiss their control goodbye forever too!

  • It shows what “the world” holds dearly – money – when they will not allow an employee to leave for a few hours to say good-bye to a dying family member. That is cruel and heartless. And what a stand you took Carla… one that took a lot of guts! Or rather, a lot of heart. And now today you are taking an even higher stand, one of working for yourself, in part, because of what your grandmother instilled in you. Unwavering faith is one gift she gave you … a faith that can move mountains. You are truly an inspiration, Carla!

    • admin

      Susan you bring tears to my eyes as I read your comment, thank you. In retrospect I don’t know how I did it, all I can say is it is true about faith. It is the unseen hope for things yet to come on a promise…stand for what is true and right and it will prevail. No matter the mountains I had to climb or the hell I had to endure, I survived and so can everyone else out there. All you need is a coach to help you over the hard parts. It is the hard parts that form the leader, winner and eagle in us all. Don’t give in or give up, stand for what is right and you will lead others to do the same, you are an encouragement, thank you Susan.

  • Jeannette

    Carla, You definately have your priorities in the right place! Your grandma taught you well. And I’ll bet you are that kind of grandma, too!

    • admin

      Jeannette, you are right on. I am that kind of grandma and there are some, who shall remain nameless, that don’t like it much. But, it doesn’t matter now any more than it mattered then. What is right is right, period. We have a responsibility to teach our little ones the difference in right and wrong otherwise we end up with a big fat mess. I think grandma would be pleased:)

  • Bravo Carla! Jobs come and go, those dear to us can never be replaced and to be at their side to ease their passing as well as leaving us with a greater sense of closer and peace is priceless. I think your Grandma did a GREAT job in coaching you!:)

    • admin

      Thanks Denny. I’m not sure I explained what my heart really felt, but I did the best I could. It was amazing as I wrote these past articles the memories came flooding back and were as raw as the days we went through them. It opened something in me though and the writing has flowed ever since. Maybe that’s what we all should do, open up let it flow…lesson in there somewhere, huh?

  • Victoria Gazeley

    I have such a hard time understanding the thought-process of some employers. I was lucky enough to work for someone for 12 years who always, ALWAYS encouraged us to put family first – maybe to a fault, but I stayed there for 12 years because it was such an accepting and encouraging place to work. I know most people aren’t as fortunate as I was. I’m so happy you made that choice for yourself and your grandma – there really wasn’t any other choice. Thank you for sharing your story!

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  • Some people shouldn’t have jobs that require working with other humans!  You did the right thing; I wouldn’t have even asked, I would have just said I’m leaving and faced the consequences later.  Fortunately, the job I had the longest, my supervisors were always family oriented and when I had emergencies they let me go and covered my shifts.
    Both of my grandmothers have died, but one of my comforts is knowing that I was there when they were alive.

    • admin

      Thanks Davette. Things tend to work out when we do what is right in our heart. Glad to see others view family as more important than any job. Thanks for stopping by, we appreciate your presence.