The Gregg tombstone.

Last Words With LaVonne

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.

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