During difficult times in life, who has supported you, or who have you supported?
Man I have taken quite the hiatus from blogging…… I was on facebook this afternoon and came across the WOF Wednesday blog topic. Ironically it has been something I have been wanting to post on and just haven’t had the words or readiness to share with those of you who read my blog. I apologize to you since I haven’t been on to share what is going with me and the amazing things God still shows me on a daily basis. In difficult times, who has supported me? Have I supported others?
April brought a HUGE change in the hierarchy of my family. Just after Easter my grandfather, made the final, big decline in his health. He himself could see the end and even told his oncologist that is was time for hospice and that his days here on Earth were very limited. It is also the weekend that he pretty much staying in the bedroom instead of coming out into the living room to spend time with us. It is also the time he hardly ate two bites before he became very sick to his stomach and out it came. The end of March into April was when the jaundice set in and him and I talked about how we both knew it was the cancer. It also the time he diagnosed a large mass on his liver (he was a doctor for 42 years). At this point I refused to truly believe the end was near. I begged and prayed to have him just a little more time. I wasn’t ready to let him go. The next weekend I went to stay with my grandparents to have more time with him. I was laying in bed with him that Saturday and he told me he had one more conversation to have with me. He fell asleep after telling me from the exhaustion. On Sunday before I left I was laying with him, telling him how much I loved him and that I wasn’t ready to say goodbye yet. He didn’t know who I was, he asked me multiple time who I was and why I was there. He had been doing more and more that week. I gave him one more great big hug, told him I loved him very much, thanked him for everything and said one day I will see you again, kissed his forehead and walked out. I headed start to the garage because I didn’t want grandma seeing me crying. I had a sinking feeling that was my last time with him. Of course grandma came out per her usual for sending any of us off and began to cry with me. We hugged and off I went, crying 3/4 of the way home.
Wednesday of that week, my mother called to let me know that my aunt and uncle were because hospice had been there and told them death was near, it would be within 24 hours. After the call I immediate began to pack for heading home, I remember it being very hard trying to decide what I would wear at his funeral. I also remember while I was packing, God was there with me. I felt uneasy and I felt him pushing me to let go and let him do what he needed to do. At 10:30 I said the prayer God I will miss him so much, but I know his time has come to go home. Please take him with you and make it painless for him. Here is the cool God part in this all. At 10:30 that night my mom, aunt and uncle encouraged my grandma to go lay with grandpa and take a nap because she was so exhausted. At 11:30 she woke in a panic and was hard to focus what was going on. Finally she told her children that God was telling her to let grandpa go, let him come home. Grandma then asked her kids to pray with her and did just that. Then my uncle spent some time with him, then my mother. She gave him some medicine repositioned him to make him more comfortable and read some scripture from a small little book they had gotten. She then traded spots with my aunt who continued to read from this book. My aunt looked down at the book and looked at grandpa and knew he was gone. I myself had stayed awake because I just couldn’t shake the feeling I had. I called my mom shortly at 12:30 and she confirmed grandpa had passed on.
At that point she asked me to call my siblings and dad to let them know. My sister who is in the army and in Colorado didn’t answer right away so I had to leave a message. She called back 20 minutes later and her and I just sat on the phone together and just cried. That was the only support we could give each other at that point. We were on the phone like that for almost an hour. She left to call mom and called me back and we still cried but we were able to talk as well. Sleep finally came at 3 and I headed to grandma’s at 7 that morning after a call to my boss and taking off the rest of the week. The time between that phone to the funeral is kinda hazy. I felt so numb and it all felt so surreal. I remember crying most of the driving up and lost it when I saw grandma. I jumped in and help get this organized and ready. The one thing my grandfather had asked me at Christmas before was to sing with my brother’s girlfriend at the funeral. I had been hemming and hawing about doing it, but at that point I was determined. I wanted to do that one thing for him, by God’s grace I was going to pull it together and sing.
The visitation was better than I expected. It was hard for my siblings more than it was for me. Seeing earthly body gave me a peace. I didn’t cry, I smiled. He wasn’t there, he was home and I had a peace. It allowed me to be there for my brother and sisters. it allowed me to be there for my cousins and grandma. It allowed to delight in the amazing things he did here on Earth and reminisce with old friends. The funeral was a little harder. Before they closed the casket all of the grandkids were allowed to put something in there with him. I had kept my acceptance letter for PA school. I couldn’t believe I still had it. I placed it in there with him because medicine is a passion we shared. I loved calling him and talking about medicine with him. I still do. I had amazing friends come and support me. Danny and Steph, 2 friends from high school came as well as my best friend Deborah and her husband Jacob. I was able to sing and fulfill what my grandpa had asked. I cried as stories were shared by my grandma’s sister Baja, my uncle and my father. A special touch is we gave my grandpa a navy well done as his casket was taken from the funeral service like did for all of us grandkids when we made a huge accomplishment. The cemetary was hard. My sister along with a good family friend Tom present my grandma with my grandpa’s flag for his service in the Navy. My sister shook and cried through it all. Our final goodbyes were then started by the grandkids. I went first and I completely lost it. Right there was Deb and Jake to hug me and just be there when I needed it most. Danny was close behind.
From then it has gotten easier. I still break down and cry, but it is easier. Support is what got me through this. My grandfather was a HUGE part of my life. He is the one that inspired and supported me to go into medicine. I feel privileged as his only grandkid thus far doing and loving what he did for 42 years. Without my family and my friends this would have been harder. They were just there, to love on me with no judgement. I was also able to help support my family through this as well. To be there for my grandma as the medical mind to explain and talk through what was going on. To discuss and share scripture that spoke to grandma and grandpa while they read the bible together those last months before his death. Just to listen to her and get things off her chest. To be there for my siblings, a long sobbing phone with a sister 600 plus miles away who desperately wanted to be with her family. To give a reassure hug to my brother and youngest sister and cousins. To discuss with Hannah to help her understand. My biggest support was God. I knew he was there, watching, comforting. He showed me his presence in some of the dumbest things I prayed for. He was there through it all. And he is still here. I have learned to find him in the smallest, most miniscule parts of my day. I am happy he continues to show me his presence, something I have needed. I have been in this funk and I think it is time to rise out of it and be more part of this world instead of going through the motions. An awesome song, thanks Matthew West. 🙂