Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Terrible Thanksgiving Week

I would've written sooner, but this week has been awful.

I got a phone call from my mom on Sunday night. She told me that my grandpa was dying and nurses didn't expect him to make it through the night. So, on Monday, Jim and I drove to Harrisonville, Missouri, to see him.

He was tied up to tubes, but he opened his eyes for me. He even shook Jim's hand. He told me that he was "so proud that I came up to see him." He said it three times that day. It made my heart hurt.

My grandpa has always been a pistol. He was ornery, stubborn, loud, and carefree...sometimes, even, careless. He's survived at least three open heart surgeries. One time when I was four, he had a heart attack while we were fishing! That man has endured a lot of health issues and surpassed them all... and this week is no exception.

He not only survived Sunday night, he survived Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Doctors will move him into a nursing home soon, too. He's been in-and-out of it, but he's still surviving. It's positive news, but still, he's suffering. I hate it. It's like waiting for death. I hate even writing that, but in the end, that's what happens, right? We all get older and sometimes we're blessed with a quick ending, and sometimes we're holed up in a hospital for weeks. Even if he does recover, only 20-percent of his heart is functioning, he has bleeding ulcers, and he's so weak, he can barely speak or open his eyes. He's uncomfortable in his bed--he's been laying in the same position for days. Like I said, it makes my heart hurt.

My grandpa has been difficult throughout the years. He was always a great grandfather to me. Afterall, I was his fishing buddy. I still like to go crappie fishing, mostly because of him. When I was a little girl, we'd go fishing off a dock at Windmill Run in Oklahoma with a can of spam and minnows. That's one of my best childhood memories.

As long as I can remember, my grandpa has had a bad heart, but he has always tested his body. On our way back from fishing, we'd stop at the gas station where they sold Chester Fried chicken. My grandpa would get us a few chicken wings, and then I'd rush back home and tell on him to my grandma. This happened so much that it actually became a game. Grandpa would do something bad, and I'd tell on him. My grandma would scold him, but he would just laugh. I think he got a kick out of it.

This happens to everyone, but I'm just experiencing this "growing older" thing. It really messes with your head when someone strong and invincible becomes old and frail. Of course my aging grandfather's health didn't deteriorate overnight, but it's more prevalent when the end is near. I will see him this weekend, if possible, and that will be nice.

On another note--I had a misdiagnosed bacterial infection... at least, that's what the doctor said during my third trip this month to urgent care. My meds are making me sick because they're super strong. He said that because the infection wasn't taken care of earlier, it's worse. Hope the third time's the charm.


Michelle said...


I am so sorry about your Grandfather. I too had a Grandfather that kept a mood. I hope he gets his strength up and shows everyone what a spitfire he is.

Harold D said...

I'm so sorry to hear that Michelle... certainly not a very happy Thanksgiving.