Monday, January 29, 2018

Did He Ever Know ...

Today my mom came over to help me go through some of my dad's things and put away some old family albums.  While we were going through the old albums, we found something I had written about my grandfather's passing.  Today it has been 28 years since my grandfather passed away and one month since I lost my dad; we both cried reading what I had written in 1991:

January 29, 1990, was a relatively regular day or as regular as my days could be at the time.  It had been a good day at school.  I remember staying late after school talking with Mrs. Rothman, my biology teacher, about a few problems I was having.  I was happy that I didn't have to work after school because I was pretty tired.  I went home and immediately decided to take a nap.  My brother was in the next room playing Nintendo.  As I was lying there, I couldn't help but think about my papa, and I felt so guilty because all I could think about was how I wish he would mercifully pass on.

It seemed as if he had been sick forever.  I could hardly remember the last time I had seen him in the yard fiddling with something that needed to be fixed for Grandma.  These were the kinds of things that he loved to do.

At that moment all I could think of was him lying in the hospital bed in my grandparent's living room looking so helpless... a look I had never seen on my papa before.  He had always been such a strong man... strong in many more ways than one.  He was so strong in his faith that it seemed unbelievable to me that God could be doing this to my papa.  Never once did I see him give up on his fight to stay alive and be with the people he loved so much.

I thought about how long he had been sick and how every year the doctors would tell us that he would not make it through the holidays.  It had almost become routine to hear that, and then Papa would do just fine, and we would have a great Christmas.  It wouldn't even seem as if he was sick.  He would be up playing with the grandchildren.  It had only been a little over a month since last Christmas.  Everything as still very clear in my mind.

I was thinking about these things... so many thoughts running through my mind.  It startled me when the phone rang.  My brother and I picked up at the same time.  It seemed every time the phone rang everyone would race for it.

We both said "hello."  It was my mom.  I knew she had been with Papa all day.  Her voice was very shaky but calm as she told us my grandfather had just passed away.  I cannot even begin to explain the feeling I felt.  I just sat there.  My brother and Mom were completely tuned out.  I couldn't talk.  I couldn't even breathe.  I just sat there forgetting to hang up the phone.  I just sat there and cried.  It was a feeling of sadness, not reality.  Later that evening my brother and I drove over to my grandparent's house to join the rest of the family.  On the way there, we didn't talk; not a single word came out of our mouths.  The radio was on, but I only remember one song, "In the Living Years." I just started crying so hard that I didn't think I could drive the rest of the way.

All of the sudden I just stopped crying and I thought to myself" "it isn't real; when I get there Papa will be sitting in his blue chair watching TV or in the kitchen helping Gran with dinner."

When we pulled up, I saw many cars there.  I parked behind my mom's car, got out and walked to the door.  I stood there for a second preparing myself.  When I went in, the living room was empty.  I walked into the kitchen and saw my family sitting around the table with tear-streaked faces.  As soon as I saw my gran, I started crying again.  She gave me the biggest hug. I couldn't let go; I didn't want to let go of her.  As we sat there talking about the funeral arrangements every once in a while someone would start crying.  We would all stop talking until there were done.

After a while I got the nerve to ask, "What was it like?" Who was with him?" "Did he feel any pain?" My mom began telling me that she and my aunt had been with him all night and day and for some reason, they could tell he was considerably worse today.  My grandmother told them to call and ask my other aunts and uncle to come home quickly.  As they were all trying to reach them, Papa was trying to talk to Gran.  He told her how much he loved her.  Once his children arrived, they all gathered around him and cried.  He passed away with the people he loved most there with him.

The next couple of days were hard.  We had to hold his funeral three days after his passing to allow people to fly into town.  I seemed to be okay during the two nights of family visitation at the funeral home with a lot of people constantly around.  It was very hard for me to cry in front of them.  I wanted to be strong for my mom and my gran.

The day of the funeral was cold and wet.  We got in the cars and were led to the funeral home.  Once there, I saw many people.  The entire chapel was full.

I don't remember the whole thing... just the end when a man from my aunt's church sang, "Wind Beneath My Wings." I started crying so hard.  Right then and there I realized that my grandfather was the wind beneath my wings... he was my hero.  I love him and still miss him very much.  On January 29th it will be one year since his death, and he is still very much alive in my heart and my memories.


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Just a Mom

I am NOT a doctor, nor do I play one on this blog.

I AM a wife.
I AM the mom of 3 wonderful children.
I AM my son's pancreas.

The information provided on this blog is from our personal experiences with Type 1 diabetes. Because something works for us does not mean it will work for you.

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