As I look back over the past week, I have so much to be grateful for.
Our little family was to make the trip to Kansas City for the week on Friday after work. However, Mike's body had other plans. He had kidney stones that basically crippled him for a few days. He just didn't think he could make the trip. I had gotten sick earlier that week, and was REALLY sick. Everything was stacked against us .... but I had this feeling. This STRONG feeling that I needed to be home. Mike had gone to the doctor, who refused to let him go back to work for over a week, and the doctor said "hey.... go home to KC for the week, I'll give you some medicine to help you endure the car trip." So, away we left.
We arrived early in the morning on Saturday. Spent a few days with Mike's family. My cousin Kasey's father passed away, and his funeral was on Monday afternoon, but it was 2.5 hours away. I just didn't think w/ my horrible cough I wanted to make that trip, because I would've been riding with my grandparents. I was so worried I would get them sick. I went to the Minute Clinic that morning, found out I had a sinus infection. So, I was on the mend finally with some antibiotics.
By Tuesday morning, I received an email from my mom, telling me that my grandpa was in the ICU at the local hospital. He had pneumonia. By that afternoon, we were visiting him. The girls & I watched him breathe so hard..... he was in pain just trying to breathe. He saw me and said "hi sweetie!", and tried to talk to me. I hushed him and said "Grandpa, it's probably better if you don't speak because your oxygen level goes down when you talk." When we said goodbye, I gave him my cheek to kiss, but he always goes for the lips.....
We visited on Wednesday, he was improving. Thursday morning he was holding steady. No more rattling in his lungs. He had a face mask on by this time to get better oxygen. Many many years ago, he was in a fire caused by chemicals (he was a firefighter), and endured some health problems because of this fire. As he got older, he developed pulmonary fibrosis.... and eventually had to be put on oxygen (just the week prior). Pulmonary fibrosis + pneumonia isn't a great thing.
Thursday morning the entire family meets at the hospital (totally not planned, we just all showed up at around the same time). He was asleep. Doing great. So, we all go home to prepare for our Thanksgiving dinner. By 1:00 that afternoon, we head over to my grandma's house. Then we get a phone call from my cousin, who hadn't seen Grandpa until that day. The death of her own father still fresh in her own mind. His oxygen level suddenly dropped majorly. He wasn't doing too well. I left Mike & the girls at my grandma's house and left with my parents. My brother was called. The entire family headed up to the hospital.
He suffered a heart attack, and then his oxygen level tanked. The doctor said he didn't think he had much longer. Everyone was called in.... and we waited for my final cousin to come in so we could take the mask off and let him die peacefully. We all whispered little words in his ear. Told him how much we loved him. Cried on his chest. Kissed his cheek. Rubbed his hair that he just cut so he could look as he did in his teens. We said goodbye.
He did die peacefully. It was so painful. The hardest thing I have ever had to go through. I have never experienced death of someone so close to me. I was always Grandpa's girl. My favorite place to sit was in his lap. His strong arms surrounding me. Listening to him hum songs and play his harmonica. He had a beautiful voice.
I've been pulling all the pictures together for a video, plus making his program and display table. I'm so proud of my grandpa. He was a wonderful man. He lived a great life, despite his imperfections. But in my eyes.... he didn't have any imperfections.