My Grandpa is Dying

Oy. Lost blog post. For some reason, only my title was posted? I’m not sure I have it in me to start this one over again, but I’ll do my best.

This past weekend, my parents, aunt, and uncle went to Florida to tend to Grandpa’s stuff, as they brought him back here about a month ago so we could take care of him. When they left, Grandpa was in a rehab facility trying to build up strength.

While they were away, I was Grandpa’s contact and I visited him and checked in on him twice a day. On Saturday, Mark and I took Grandpa for a little stroll outside in his wheelchair. It was a beautiful day. By the time we got back inside, Grandpa was pooped, so we had the nurses lay him down for a rest.

Later that afternoon, I received a call from Grandpa. He was really confused. “Where are you? I don’t know where I am. Where’s your Grandpa? Where’s Jeff?” I told Grandpa I’d be over soon, but it would take me about an hour, as I was way out West for a friend’s party. I would also have Jeff, my dad, call him. “How will you find me? I don’t even know where I am! Where will he call me?” I assured him that he was safe and I knew where he was. I’d be there soon.

By the time I got there, Grandpa was doing much better. More relaxed and actually eating! It was a nice visit.

The next morning, Mark and I brought Toby the puppito to Gramps in hopes that he would help to cheer him up. However, when we got to his room, we couldn’t seem to wake him up for more than a few seconds. I called the nurse who took his vitals. She said everything looked good and he was probably just tired. They peeled Grandpa from his chair and brought him to lunch. Physically, he was there, but according to my cousin – who arrived right after we left – Grandpa refused to eat and just wanted to rest. When we returned for dinner, it was a lot of the same.

The next morning, I received a call from my aunt. Grandpa was on his way to the ER for a potential stroke/dehydration/something still isn’t right. When Mark, my cousin and I finally got in to see Gramps, he was sleeping and when he did come to, was pretty out of it. By around 3 pm, my parents arrived. Grandpa was really happy to see my dad.

After chatting for a couple minutes, dad left to grab some coffee and in that time, Grandpa woke up again. My cousin and I stood by his side and I explained what was going on (again). I told him everything was going to be okay. We’re all here to take care of you and you’re doing great. You look better already! Grandpa started to cry. “Thank you. Thank you for taking care of me. I love you. Thank you. I love you.”

That moment is what keeps replaying in my head. It was this moment of pure fear mixed with total gratitude. It completely shatters my heart and at the same time, makes me feel really happy that we could be there to give Grandpa a little comfort.

Grandpa has since been released from the hospital into hospice care. They removed his IV and are treating him for pain only. Grandpa slept for the bulk of our 2+ hour visit last night. But, we did manage to get a few of those smiles laced with that same gratitude we saw in the hospital. Those smiles are everything.

I haven’t been back yet today, but mom says that Grandpa is in his wheelchair and is even drinking Ensure! It’s great news. I mean, I know Grandpa is going to die. They think he has about a week or two. But still. Any improvement – even temporary – feels like a much needed breath. Plus, my brother is getting married this Sunday. For his sake and the sake of the family, I really hope Grandpa can hold on until then.

I don’t know what else to say, except that when it’s my time, I hope I’m as lucky to have the ones I love surrounding me. Giving me moments of peace as I end my journey.

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