We were the closest family possible. Our world was turned upside down on 05/03/09 when my best friend, the person I love most next only to our children, my sister Trina was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer. Her body gave out on her on 01/09/10 but she will ALWAYS be a part of our daily life and will continue to be in my posts. I started my blog to chronicle our daughter's international adoption from Guatemala and have continued to use it as a journal.

What you will find is my family trying to adapt to our new lives that were handed to us.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Six Years

Six years ago today my grandpa passed away. I can't believe it's been six whole years. He passed away from cancer at the age of 85. I put my grandpa on a pedestal and as far as I'm concerned, he deserved it. He was such a quiet man, but when he talked, everyone listened. He was so wise and lived such an amazingly strong life. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer around 1989 and then in 1997 he was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. He went through chemo and radiation at the age of 82! 10 days before he died the doctor gave him 2 weeks to live. Grandma and Grandpa were still living in Goldendale at the time, which is a 2 hour drive from here, Vancouver. I told my boss the situation and that I would be off work indefinately. I then spent the last week of Grandpa's life driving to Goldendale almost every day to see him. The first day I arrived, he lit up when he saw me and smiled. At this point he couldn't walk and was spending his time either in his chair in the living room or in bed. He was sleeping most of the time and talking very little, if at all. About 3 days before he died he was in a coma. I saw him for the last time the day before he died. He was bedridden and had slipped into the coma. My Uncle Gordon was there and helped mom and my aunt Anita take care of Grandpa. I cannot give enough kudos to mom, Anita and Gordon for all that they did for Grandpa those last 10 days. They did EVERYTHING for him. Grandpa wasn't able to walk at all so they would lift him up from his chair into the wheelchair, wheel him into the bedroom and then lift him into the bed. They turned him every 2 hours so he wouldn't get bed sores. They existed on virtually no sleep for those last days and again, they were amazing!!! The emotional and physical toll it took on them was immeasurable. It was only because of them that Grandpa was able to go in the home he built and loved so much. I still have dreams about grandpa, that he's alive. I'm so excited to see him again and yet am aghast that we have to go through the horror of him dying again. I used to have these dreams every night. Now they come only once a month or two. In a way, my grandpa saved me. It was after he died that I started therapy. I love my grandpa so much and miss him every day. I have a pile of his clothes in my linen closet and it's so comforting to open it up almost every day and see his clothes. Grandpa had the most wicked sense of humor! Very dry and totally unexpected. I see it in Asa a lot! I wish so much that Grandpa could have seen Asa and Valentina. Although they will never know him, Asa already knows about his great-grandpa and so will Valentina. I will miss grandpa every day for the rest of my life, but I learned so much from him and feel so lucky and fortunate to have had him in my life and that he was MY grandpa.


Lou said...

You are such a sweet girl...You really are. What a sweet post. Thank you for sharing.

Sonia said...

Erik has told me so much about your guys grandpa. I really wish I could have met him and that he could have known the girls. Thank you for talking about him.

Anonymous said...

Ok, tear jerker!!!!!!
That was so honest and kind. He does see the young ones, and he surrounds you all sweetie. Like an angel. Love yah!!!!

Natalie said...

I admire how close you are to your family. This post is so sweet. Thank you so much for sharing with us.

And hey...how about Asa...no cancer...that's wonderful news!

JOY said...

I think it is wonderful that you have so many happy memories of your grandpa. It is great that you have him on a pedestal - he must have been w great man.

What a lovely post and a wonderful dedication to your grandpa.

Thanks for sharing this with us.