My grandparents flew in from Florida in mid-August because my grandfather was transferred to a nursing home/rehab facility 20 mins from our home. He was on a ventilator and tube fed (not life support), but, other than that, he was very alert.
We’d visit almost every night, since grandpa seemed the most energetic when Joshua was around. It’s funny because while he was too tired to turn his head to look at anyone else, he’d put that extra effort to follow Joshua around… even lift his arms to touch Joshua’s arms and legs when I carried my son over his great grandfather’s bed.
I visited him alone once. I stood by his bed reminding him about the times when my mom got so mad at me, she locked me out of the house and I’d end up staying with my grandparents. Or when I thought Janet Jackson had really cool hair, but, when I tried it on myself, ended up looking like a jungle woman. That cracked him up : ) He’d silently laugh (because of the ventilator) with his mouth wide open and his entire body shaking. It was like I had my grandpa ‘back’… only difference was he couldn’t talk and he was sitting up in bed.
Grandpa was always busy in his vegetable garden, so, I told him I wanted to plant a veggie garden too, and I would need his help since I wouldn’t even know how to grow mold if my life depended on it. He promised he’d be there for me, and seemed really excited about that… I thought it would be something he could look forward to.
We went to visit him at the nursing home on Thursday (10/23) night. My grandma and my uncle were already there when we arrived. Grandpa seemed tired, but, nothing unusual. He “woke up” as soon as he saw Joshua.
My Grandma and uncle left early, but Al, Joshua and I decided to stay a little longer to keep grandpa company. I stood by his side talking about how great it would be when he can get out of bed and eat all the food he loves again… how much fun it will be to go outside and watch Joshua play… how I can’t wait until he helps me plant my vegetable garden.
We didn’t leave until after the doctor did his routine checkup and reassured me everything looked okay. I asked grandpa if he was okay, and he nodded. “Are you tired, grandpa?” he nodded again. “Can you see Joshua?” he shook his head. I looked at Joshua and his face was buried in my sweater, so I turned him around so that grandpa could see him. “Can you see Joshua now?” he nodded his head.
“Okay, grandpa, we’ll be back again tomorrow, okay? Get some rest and we’ll see you again. We love you so much. We love you, grandpa.” And Joshua blew him a kiss and said, “Nnnnight, Lolo”.
The three of us were the last ones to see him alive. I was the last to give him a kiss and tell him how much we loved him. My grandpa passed away the next day.
I’m so sad, I don’t know what to do… I was counting on him recovering and getting out of bed. I know he’s finally at peace… that he’s in a better place, but, I can’t help but wish he was still with us.
It seems so selfish when I really think about it… that I’d rather have him alive, hooked up to all those tubes and stuck in bed, just because it makes me feel better knowing he’s there where we can all see and touch him. When I feel like I’m really falling apart, I try hard to remind myself that he’s moved on to a place much better than I can ever imagine, where he is no longer suffering… from where he can watch Joshua playing outside.