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Posted: 8/20/2001 10:27:48 PM EDT
I spent this weekend saying good bye to my grandfather, who may by the time you read this, have passed on. As I held his hand for the last time, it made me cry to think that the world was losing this man. I thought of all the things he'd taught me. I thought of how wonderful of a grandfather he'd been. I thought it was sad that no great grandkids would ever get to know him. My grandfather is my hero. He did not serve in the armed forces. He didn't fight any wars. He wasn't a super cop, a crime fighter, or anything out of the usual. He was a husband for 67 years. He was a father, who loved his family. He was a grandfather, who loved his grandkids. He was a farmer, who loved the earth, and worked with it until the day he couldn't take his wheelchair outside on his own anymore. He had hoped to outlive his grandmother, who made it to 87. He knew he wasn't going to last Wednesday, when he requested a cessation to his Dialysis.
Link Posted: 8/20/2001 10:35:10 PM EDT
I find that I will miss him dearly, and think of all the times I should have gone to visit instead of screwing around with cars, guns, girls, and many other things that didn't matter as much. I think of all the things he taught his grandkids, including me. He taught me the value of life when he built a chicked coop and made me take care of the chickens for a summer. He taught how to drive a tractor when I was 7. He taught me to drive to the truck when I was 12. He showed me how to shoot a bow and arrow. He taught me how to shoot an air rifle. He taught me about irrigation. He taught me that investing wisely can make you money. He taught me that borrowed corn tastes better [:)] He taught me that a hard day's work is rewarding. He taught me about life. My brother and I delighted in our summer visits to the farm. We could dig holes and tunnels in the sandy dirt, and grandfather would come by and check to see what we'd done and give us some pointers. My brother and I would take turns shooting arrows across the fields to see who could make it back and forth in the fewest shots. My grandfather would then come out and shot an arrow over his tall sequioa tree in the front yard and ask us to try. I can't recall that either my brother or me ever did. One summer he made us take charge of the chicken coop. A most humbling experience for a 10 year old kid. He seemed invicible. He seemed afraid of nothing. And now, he is now teaching me about death. One of his favorite things to do is to twist knuckles. This is a compact version of mercy, where you interlock your middle fingers and twist till someone gives. As a kid I couldn't wait till the day I could finally make him give. That day came 8 years ago. He'd had a stroke the previous year, the first of many. Although his recovery was quite good, it still left a lasting impression. I of course wanted to twist knuckles when I saw him, and he obliged. This time was different, as I felt that I could twist harder than he was able to. I didn't want to win ever again. I knew then that he wasn't going to live forever. It was a sad day for me. His doctor always finds him amazing in that he was still alive and kicking for the last few years. Although my grandfather never drank or smoked, he had high blood pressure. In spite of treatment for most of his life, his kidneys succumbed late last year. He is too old to get a transplant so he went onto dialysis. Here was a man that had survived the great depression, two serious car wrecks, one that left his right leg only able to bend 20 degrees, experimental surgery in the 60's for high blood pressure, and having four daughters.
Link Posted: 8/20/2001 10:36:50 PM EDT
Lately, he's been having more problems, and finally he has had to be confined to bed. Last Tuesday, he asked for his minister. After they talked and prayed, my grandfather spoke with his children and wife, and asked to be removed from dialysis. From Wednesday, he was given between 7 to 10 days to live at the longest. After 3 to 4 days, he would fall into a coma due to the buildup of toxins in his body. After that, organ failure would start to occur, until he passes. He will be given pain medication throughout to ease his passing. My brother and I drove down this weekend to see him for the last time. He reached up to twist knuckles with my brother one last time, but didn't have the strength to twist mine. We got to talk to him for a few intermittent minutes as he dozed off and woke up. It's hard to believe that he is scared. He wakes up occasionally and wants someone to be there with him. It's hard to believe that this man, who once stood 6'3", is now shriveled and resting in a bed from which he can't lift himself. It's hard to watch him be fed, since he can't do it himself anymore. It's hard to watch my aunts, my mom, and my grandmother try not to cry in front of him because they want his last time withthem to be happy. I will shed tears when I get the news that he's gone, because part of me will go with him. I hope someday, if I'm a grandfather, that I will somehow measure up and be half the man my grandfather was. He is my grandfather. He is my hero.
Link Posted: 8/20/2001 10:54:49 PM EDT
Sorry sfoo. [:(] Remember he lives on through all the things he taught you.
Link Posted: 8/20/2001 10:57:13 PM EDT
Very touching - stay strong.
Link Posted: 8/20/2001 11:04:25 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/20/2001 11:00:43 PM EDT by Troy]
Link Posted: 8/20/2001 11:40:21 PM EDT
Very sorry I lost my Grandfather when I was eleven due to bowl cancer and miss him to this day. Alex
Link Posted: 8/21/2001 6:10:08 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/21/2001 6:15:28 AM EDT
The greatness of a man is not in the wars he has won but in the faces of the ones that love him. By: me at my Grandad's death bed. Sorry
Link Posted: 8/21/2001 7:33:42 AM EDT
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