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?
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 Gardiner is a wife, mom, and grammy. She left the corporate world of banking in 2004 hitting the ground running with Bullseye Auto Transport in 2005. She diversified her business in 2010 adding dispatch services to car-hauler owners/operators. Carla is on a mission to positively impact people's lives she serves with truths untold about living life better; gaining optimal health and healthy weight loss. Carla has written as The Fiery Grandma since 2010 and this title describes her personality perfectly!
There is so much peace and comfort in owning your own business, especially for us mom’s and grandma’s who want to be there for our family… or to take those vacations when they come up! Freedom is precious – it is worth getting the knowledge and investing in ourselves to have this liberty of working from home! Thanks for sharing, Carla… you are a great leader!
Carla, bravo. I admire for what you stand for. You have the experience, integrity and ‘heart’ that the industry is lacking.
That’s pretty amazing. In addition, do I understand that you are going to be showing people how to set themselves up in the auto transport broker business? If it’s set up right and the right level of service is provided, I would imagine it could be an interesting work-from-home business!
Awesome post! It is truly appealing, if one is passionate about the work the individual is doing then there is no scope for it being menial or boring or whatever. A business is where you are the boss and you are the slave, no bossiness stuff.
I learned something new! I had no clue what a “snow bird” was before this. In addition, great tips about budgeting. Sometimes I get my head in so many places; I have to remind myself to get back to basics. After all, I cannot expect God to bless me with more if I do not properly manage what is already in my hand. GREAT ARTICLE!