My last words to LaVonne Rose Gregg, as she lived and breathed, were likely, “It was so nice to see you.” I’m sure I could pinpoint the likely moment, but that would bring with it the realization of how poorly our last words fit our relationship.
I’m sure LaVonne responded with the promise of sweet corn or beef, and I would have sincerely begun the work of mapping a path for retrieval. But it wouldn’t happen, not until she no longer lived nor breathed.
News that she was sick came suddenly. Although she had been living with cancer the past year, she had been as LaVonne always was: bright and sassy. Then Holli’s mom, Carol, sent a group text message on September 24th at 6:11 PM.
> They have taken grandma to the hospital
> She stopped breathing.
Those messages started a process of grief for dozens of people. Holli and I made plans for her to head to Hawarden that night. She’d return to teach the next day, but would otherwise be near the family should LaVonne breath her last.
LaVonne didn’t. She lived unassisted for two more days in the Hawarden Hospital before passing peacefully in her sleep.