I'm quite aware that I stated I would be blogging no more on here.. and I haven't for quite a while, dispite the frequency of drama going on in my life... however I felt the need to blog this, for it is the most heart breaking thing I have ever endured in my life.
My grandfather passed away Sunday, the 5th of July. He was my hero, he was the only father figure I had, he was a fighter... he lived that many years with at least half of them plagued with COPD, blood clots, prostate cancer, congestive heart failure, emphyzema... and several other internal issues.
The last time I was home (in May) he had just been released from the hospital after he had an episode of not being able to breathe correctly, short of breath & dizzy. They found two blood clots.. one in his lungs, one in his leg. He was bedridden for several days, but we were by his side every day and he looked forward to seeing me and my daughter (Kerensa was the light of his life) coming to visit each day.
Before I left, I knew he was in pain... he wasn't feeling well but he was safe in his own home with his own things and his own family and no doctors with needles and poking & prodding. He was content, and as I left him that way, I told him I loved him and would be back in July to see him again as planned with kerensa.
I made sure that my boyfriend Shawn had a last chance to see him as well, I had a gut feeling he wouldn't survive much longer - and Shawn has so much respect for him, and the feeling was mutual.
About two weeks after I had arrived to my new temporary place of residence in London, Ontario - I got a phone call from my mom stating that Papa wasn't feeling good, they took him to the hospital but the doctors wrote it off, said it was just his lungs and to take it easy.
Approximately 5-6 days later I got a phone call.. my mom saying that Papa just wasn't doing good. He was rushed in an ambulence to the hospital, was not breathing on his own... they used that airway tube and bag to keep him alive until he arrived. My mom told me it may be his last breath. I broke down, I was alone, my room mate was in Quebec, Shawn was working and had class.. I was by myself, and beside myself. I was ready to get on a bus or plane, whatever it took, to get back home.
The next morning I got a phone call... explaining that when the doctors came to give him some morphene to get rid of his pain and let him go peacefully, he faught and refused to have morphene. He used his thumb... thumbs up when he was okay, or an answer was yes... and he faught his butt off to get off of the respiratory machine. I was still scared.
A few days later they got him one of the best pulmonologists in the country to fly in as a favor to my uncle, and he was in good hands. They checked him out.. ran every possible test on him, he seemed to be doing better but... was very weak.
They released him about 2 weeks after he had been admitted (which by the way, my grandma was admitted as well for losing more than half of her blood having nosebleeds due to Kumadin - blood thinner..)
I called to check on him several times in the hospital, and I wrote him a letter for Father's day that of which I was told was getting wrinkled and worn because he read it several times a day. He asked quite frequently "How much longer until Katy (my family calls me that) and Kerensa get here?"... and literally counted down the days.
My family took turns sleeping over there, watching my grandparents, helping.. my mom called to tell me he wasn't doing great.. he fell the first night and they had to have firefighters come and help him back up and into bed, and he wasn't making it to the bathroom on time.
The second night he seemed to improve but, still not great.
The third night my mom threw her back out to keep him from falling and splitting his head open on the bedside table. She feared the worst - and I wasn't aware of all of this happening until I came home...
My aunt Amy had the next shift, and during the middle of the night she heard Papa making weird noises, my grandma woke up and was trying to speak to him. He told my aunt that he just needed a drink of water, didn't want a breathing treatment... and at that point she knew what was happening... she got him his glass of water... and made her way to calling the rest of the family to hurry out, he was on his way "out".
My grandfather passed at around 9 AM On July the 5th with his children and wife around him. He eventually slipped into a coma before he completely passed away, yet they all stayed to talk to him, stayed to tell him how much they loved him, and that if he needed to go... then go peacefully.
I got the call that morning.. it was unreal. The words my mom said were "...we need to get you home, Katt...." and that's all I needed to hear to realize what had happened. It was.. so unreal. I screamed "No! No no no.. no... no.. no you're lying, no please no..." I woke my roommate up, and as soon as I shut her door.. I fell to the floor and screamed hysterically... crying, unconsolable and uncontrolable.
I called Shawn, he tried all he could but.. nothin helped.
My family booked me a plane home.. as soon as I walked into Mamo & Papa's house.. it hit me. He wasn't gonna walk through that door again, he wasn't in his chair reclining... he wasn't there in the kitchen watching out the window. He wasn't there anymore...
The wake was tough. People were STILL coming to pay their respects way past the ending time of the wake. He was a well known and well loved man. I stood closest to his casket in the recieving line.. I held strong, didn't cry much. I can tell you that they made Papa look just as he did when he was alive. He looked like that man I loved my whole life, the strongest man in the world. My hero. He looked peaceful.. but it was .... unreal. I touched him, I held his hand, I kissed him on the forehead...
I have this guilt stuck on me, my conscience is scarred. One more week, just one more week and Kerensa and I would have been here. We would have seen Papa again... just one more week. I never got to say goodbye.. to the man I owed most of my life to, the man who taught me to love and live and blow off the dumb things in life. I doubt I can ever forgive myself for not calling him more often, for not telling him more often while I was in Canada that I loved him so much...
I wrote a eulogy to read at church for his funeral. I read it in front of tons of people. It was hard seeing the closed casket knowing I will never see "him" physically again. It was even harder when we went to the burial site, thank God my best friend was there with me.. , they had a military burial, a three gun salute, the folding of the american flag & handing over to my grandmother along with the shells from the salute and a blessed cross.
I lost my Papa.
The toughest thing has been explaining to my daughter who is just shy of being 3 years old that Papa isn't there anymore. She says "Papa is an angel now, mommy" and I tell her he's watching over us always.. it's hard to hear her say Papa. I want her to always... ALWAYS remember her papa. I was my grandfather's first grandchild, and I gave him his very first great grandchild. I stepped down a place for my daughter... Papa loved Kerensa as he loved me, she gave him joy and happiness, and I will never let Kerensa forget how much she meant to him.
There are a few people on here who have met my grandfather in the flesh.. for those of you who have, you know how great of a man he was. For those of you who had no clue who he was, I'll say this - he saved the lives of several people in WWII, he never complained, he never said he was in pain, he never gave up, and he lived his life to the fullest while being the best father, husband, grandfather and friend that anyone could ever want.
~I miss you, Papa. Sometimes I feel like you're here with me. Sometimes I swear I can see you in your window when I drive up.. sometimes I can smell the aftershave you wore... I can hear your raspy voice and cough.. and when I see a photo of you, I swear it comes to life and looks right at me, like it's you.. telling me you are home in Heaven with God and everyone you've lost in your life.~