Thursday, September 25, 2014

Moments to Treasure with my Grandpa

For many years my grandpa has battled emphysema. The past 5 or so he has had a lot of touch and go moments. Last summer he also got West Nile and that sure had him down and out for a long time. This past year has been his hardest by far and honestly it is a true miracle he is still here. My grandpa is very strong willed. Even in his 90's he is still a contractor, building homes and developing his land like he always has. He never retired I guess you could say!!   "There is always a project to finish up"! 

 Family said he was not doing very well and had not eaten for about 3 days or sat up at all. So I decided to drive back and spend some time with him. When I got there he looked pretty lifeless. Struggling for each and every breath. I honestly did not think he would make it through the night. Any small movement would take his breath away and he would panic that he could not breath. I stayed out at the house with him and my grandma to help with anything I could and spend time with them. The night was long as he would choke or be gasping for air. My "mommy ears" heard every little thing and I would jump up to see if he was ok. Him and my grandma are very blessed to have all their kids live in the same town and it is so nice to see how every one helps where needed.  Hospice is there from time to time to check in on them. But basically at this point there is nothing that can really be done as he is in the last stages of the disease. 

 After a long night, the next morning he suddenly sat right up in bed. I could tell, wow, this is going to be a "good day". The morning nurse said "I think he is excited his granddaughter is here".  He sat up all day afraid to lay down again in case he could not get back up. He was talking, his color looked good, he ate breakfast and a great dinner. I cut his hair for him which made him feel great!!  My grandpa has a ton of fun awesome hair!!  I massaged his back, and helped him be comfortable. But the best thing was I spend all day talking to him,   He still had things to get done and contractors to talk to, so he was also still "doing business".  What a switch from the days prior.  My mom said "The calm before the storm".  I am grateful God gave him that day because later that night so many family members came to see him and he was able to visit with every one.   

I also took the opportunity while there to sit and pray with him. I really felt God nudging me to do this.   At the end of his good day I had to go, travel back home. I prayed with him before I left and we told each other "I love you".  This was so hard to leave because in my heart I just knew it would be the last time I get to talk and spend time with my grandpa!!!  
Tears stream down my cheeks as  I write this!  I know he did not want me to go yet and that is hard too. It would have been hard leaving at any time. That night or the next morning, all the same.  I feel extremely blessed that I got to have this one "good day" with him.  It gave me the opportunity to remember him this way and really treasure every single minute we had.   I am not sure I could handle seeing him take a last breath. I did not feel I wanted to be there for that, but rather treasure the good. If you have not noticed already, my Grandpa and I have always been very close. He is probably the ONE man who has never left me and has always been here. He has adored me just as I have always adored him!  I will love him forever!!  

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