I'm very sorry that I haven't been posting. It has been almost 2 months since my last post, and a lot has changed since then. I started to write about everything that has happened lately. I had a partial list of things written, and then I got to the topic of my grandpa. And then all of the emotions that I have been pushing down started gushing back up again, and I knew that this post just needed to focus on him. I need to get this out, to tell someone who may or may not care, so that I can begin to really heal instead of pretend to deal with it.
After my last post, things changed drastically with Grandpa. He got very sick again. He went back into the hospital for a while, and then was discharged after being told that he had less than 6 months to live. He came home on Thursday, August 25th. When he was told that he only had a short while to live, he said that his last request was for his whole family to go to church with him one last time, and have one last big family dinner. On that next Sunday (the 28th) everyone--all 29 of us--all went to church together for the first time in years. While there, my grandpa had requested that my dad play a song for him on the piano, and that The Generations Quartet (consisting of my grandma, uncle, aunt, and cousin) sing two songs for him. Grandpa sat in his wheel chair, sometimes falling asleep due to the morphine he was on.
After church, we all went to my grandparents' house for dinner. I don't even remember what all we had to eat. What I do remember is that once everyone was done eating, Grandpa had us all come into the living room where he was laying in his hospital bed so he could talk to us. He told us that instead of 6 months, or less, he had now been told that he had 3 or 4 weeks left. He asked us all to sit down, because he had some stuff to tell us. I think we all realized then that this was his last big goodbye.
He told us about his childhood, not really ever hearing his dad or adoptive parents tell him that he loved him. That's why, he said, that he was always telling his kids and grandkids that he loved them. Always giving us all hugs and kisses. Always showing us that we were the most important things to him. Well, second most important. God was always first in his life.
He told us all that he knew that he had made mistakes throughout his life, but he hoped that we could forgive him for anything that he had done. He didn't want any of us to still be hurt or angry with him when he was gone.
After he finished talking, about 2 hours later, he simply passed out. He was so worn out from talking to us, trying in earnest to make sure that everything was OK between us and him, that he fell asleep.
On Tuesday, around 5pm while I was on lunch at work, I got a text from my mom telling me that they were moving my grandpa to Hospice and that they were giving him 18-36 hours left to live. I was so stunned, that I could only reply with "Okay". We had just seen him 2 days ago, and he was nowhere near needing to go to hospice. I couldn't help it, I started crying, then bawling. I couldn't stop. Here I was; hiding in a coat closet at work, trying my best to be silent while crying so hard I almost made myself sick. After a couple minutes, one of the other reps saw me and took me over to the HR manager's office. I explained to her what happened, and she told me to go home. In her words, "You can't exactly take calls if you're crying." She told me to give her a call the next day to let her know what was going on.
Grandpa made it through that night. When nothing had changed by 11:30 Wednesday morning, I made the decision to go to work. I dropped Little I off at daycare and made it as far as my desk before my manager saw me and told me to just go home and be with my family. So that's what I did. Grandpa held on until a little after midnight on Friday, September 2nd. I was still awake, praying. I had felt all night like something was happening. I just knew that I would be getting a call that night.
In the hospice room, we always had music playing. It was always Christian music. A day before Grandpa passed away while I was at home, a Chris Tomlin CD was playing. The song "Jesus Messiah" came on and my aunt said, "Wouldn't it be great if this was the song he went home to?" So it was a surprise that it was playing when Grandpa took his last breath on Friday.
^My favorite version of the song.
Since Grandpa passed, there have been a lot of firsts for our family. Things that we never even thought of before he died. I think it really hit me hard when we went to church the Sunday after he passed, because Little I and I usually sat in the pew with him when he was there. It felt soooo lonely in that pew with just me and Little I. So here is a lists of some of our firsts:
First time back at church without him.
First family dinner without him.
First "Grandma Day" without him.
Mom and H's first birthdays without him.
The holidays are approaching fast, and I know they're going to be really hard on all of us, Grandma especially. So if you remember, please just send up a few prayers for us.