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Friday, January 9, 2009

What do you say when some one you love is dying?

Thurs. night we got a phone call letting us know that Grandpa Q was doing very poorly. His oxygen sat rate was 74 and his blood pressure was down to 60/40. He was almost comatose as well. To say the least we were extremely worried. He apparently hadn't been eating or drinking in days and was finally hooked up to an IV to see if that would help.
The weather has been sooooo bad though we were having a hard time deciding whether or not to head into Leth. to be with him. Mom kept telling us that he wouldn't want us putting ourselves in danger no matter how bad he was. We weighed the options and after no improvement for 12 hrs, dug the cars out of the drifts, shovelled out the lane and left en masse. Yes, the roads were unreal but we were worried he was dying so the risk was worth it. Who knew what we would find when we got there.
I guess just the motion of the most of the family toward his hospital room must have had some positive effect. By the time we walked next to his bed he was able to wake and speak to us. We knew he would be OK when he was embarrassed that I had seen him without his teeth in. Grandpa always looks put together and keeping up appearances is important to him. The Dr. arrived about the same time we did and checked his vital signs. Everything was back to normal. Grandpa was still exhausted and went in and out of sleep. He ended up being in a dream state at times and would tell us all sorts of things but he was happy to have us all there. He was really confused though that we had all shown up. He kept telling me to get the casket ready. I thought we almost had him convinced he was doing alright now until we were about to leave. He called Jamie over to him in a whisper and said, "So I really almost could've died?" He got teary eyed as we left and it broke my heart. I know he won't be with us much longer. In the last 5 months he has gone from my bright, aware, upright, card-playing, big Grandpa to a shrunken old man in a hospital bed. He knows he is going down hill and this was one of the few times in a couple of years he has had this many family members in the same room. You could see he was so happy just to have us all there. I wish that for one last time, just once more, we could all go "Up in The Hills" (our family ranch) with Grandma and Grandpa sitting at the cabin table playing Rook, with Grandma making pancakes and chokecherry syrup. I want Grandpa to yell at me for loosing his hammer building tree forts. I want to do the chores for Grandpa and drive the hay truck as they stack the bales. I want Grandpa sitting in his chair looking out the big picture window watching the farm and the cars go down the road. I miss my Grandpa who would always try to steal my ice cream and the Grandma that made popcorn every Sunday while we watched the Wonderful World of Disney movie of the week. I miss Grandma's bread!!! It's so hard to watch the big strong people in your life; the people that were your barriers to rough world; the people you looked to as the anchors of the family shrink down and gradually fade away.

3 Comments:

Lynn

Deanna, that was so beautifully written, you got me good in the "tear department" ! What a wonderful tribute to your Grandma and Grandpa...what a childhood you had with them in it !

My Dad has been very ill for over a year and the Daddy I knew is no more...he is frail, thin, weak and very sick with cancer moving from one part of his body to another.

I called to talk to him for almost 2 hours yesterday because I pulled out questions from my blogging jar about him and he is still sharp as a tac in the memory Dept.thank goodness !

My prayers are with your Grandpa & your family.
Love,
Lynn

The Bullknitter

Hmmm, that's a tough one. I guess you tell them you love them. I think what you said was eloquently expressed. Well wishes, prayers and positive vibes coming to you from me. Hang in there.

Rita

I think you should read him the parts of this post that are your favorite memories...those are beautiful.

I didn't know that your grandpa was failing, Deanna. What a sad time for you and your dad and family. I'm thinking about you.