Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Last Moments #justwrite

Life with four kids can be chaotic and busy. Add that to living in an old house that seems to always need something fixed as well as updates we just want to make. We could easily become hermits and not leave our house for months. My family is close, but not close enough to make visits as frequently as I would like. I know my grandpa especially misses having small children around. As a child we spent a great deal of our time at his house and I know he would have loved that same experience with his great grandchildren.

My grandfather had a stroke in May of 2008, right after he celebrated PBgirl’s first birthday with us. I’m so glad he was able to come to that party. We have been so blessed that we have had him with us for these last five years. Everyday longer that he is with us is a blessing, another great grandchild he got to meet, another chance for my children to experience extended family.


The call came on a Saturday night. It’s not unusual for my sister to call me on a Saturday with a question or to check in on how we’re doing. I appreciate that she takes the initiative to reach out to us because, as stated above, I could go months forgetting there is a world outside our small family and it’s immediate needs. What made the call unusual is she her message asked me to call her back that day, not when I get a chance, not whenever, that night. As soon as I heard those words I knew something was wrong with someone, my heart sank and I got that feeling of dread and fear in my stomach.

My grandpa had, what they believe to be, another series of small strokes. He’s weaker, speaking less, moving less. Hospice has been discussed, the last 5 years seems like a gift, a gift we’re nearing the end of.

It’s funny how when faced with finality you can move mountains. We decided if our days were going to be numbered we needed to make sure the kids could see him one last time, that PBboy could play for him again. We made it happened because we didn't want to know the feeling of not making it happen.

Last Lessons

He was a shell of the man I knew. He seemed to be shrinking into himself, his body deflating around him. Despite that you could see him light up when he saw the kids and me. His eyes beamed, he said their names, he knew mine and my sisters. We helped him into his wheelchair and wheeled him to the old {very} out of tune piano and PBboy began to play. Grandpa kept rhythm, he instructed and pointed with his one good hand. He tried to play himself. It was amazing.

The kids seemed to breathe a breath of life into him that was missing before we walked in.

It made me again long for the past and the nuclear family living all together.

It was a short visit, he didn’t have the stamina and the kids the ability to behave after a long day at school. It was more travel and work to get there and back then we spent there, but it was worth ever hassle, every moment.

If that was our last moments, and only God knows, they were precious and will be cherished. I don’t want to be greedy and ask for more, I know his body, his soul, is tired, but I pray for maybe just one more  last moment, a chance to breathe that life into his eyes again, even just one more time.

1 comment:

Vicky said...

Ohhhh- I'm fully hoping you get that chance too! This was both heart warming and gut wrenching to read as I've traveled this path with my father. You're so wise in how you are both celebrating all that you've had, but realizing how precious few moments may be left. So beautifully written!