I haven’t been here for a while, because simply… I have not known what to say. Frankly, I have been a bit numb, in the world of reality. Now, I am back home and in life, in my routine, so I have had time to start processing.
I got a call early in the morning on the 4th from my sister. She explained briefly that I really needed to prepare myself. My morning had just began getting ready for Jaden to start getting ready for school. We have had so many issues with Papa over the past few months, just before Christmas he had a bad episode, where his blood pressure was way down, he basically really needed to be hydrated. Papa had also been having mini strokes for MANY months, then you add all of this to his Dementia, and going into a few nursing homes over the past few months. You add everything up and you gather a TALLY, and what are your results?
Your results are, Papa was at his end, he was coming closer and closer to his time in life that he was going to go meet his maker. I was told while I was in home visiting that at some point after another episode, that Papa told a nurse, that some men came to get him, but he told them, that it just wasn’t his time.
History of Papa is simple, he is a man of very few words, he was a man of God. Now I am not going to ever pretend, that I have all his same morals and values, I don’t necessarily believe that life today should be the way that he thought that it should be. However my grandfather was one, who did not stray, he was a man who believed to the heart and soul. He would never waver from what he believed, wether it be his religion or even just something that happens in day-to-day life. When I was home in 2009, I saw a few signs that he had memory problems, my grandmother has Alzheimer’s, but even though she was diagnosed more than a year before him, her brain was halted and no further damage has been done to her (she is still just in early stages). Papa really went downhill fast with Dementia, he progressed to being physical, and some medications of course would worsen this. His memory was bad, Yes, I am the type of person that makes light of things just to make things easier to process. I would rather make fun of a bad situation, to find humor than get so upset by something that is totally out of my hands to control.
When I was home this past summer, at one point my uncle came for a quick visit. My grandfather knew exactly who I was, but was confused about my uncle. He thought that my uncle, was my husband, and he was worried that he had upset “my husband” when he didn’t want him to cut down the field. He also started showing my uncle pictures from the war, and was saying that he was in command of the entire unit. These are things that I choose to find humor in, because my grandfather was such a man of few words, but his memory was always very fresh.
My grandfather was a great man, I am so proud to have known him, I am so proud that I was able to go home and let all of my children meet him before things got so terrible. The entire time I was there, he was very gentle with the kids, he still played with them a bit, but he talked kindly to them. I never saw him angry, I did see him at times confused, but he could still be easily redirected. Until my last few minutes before I was leaving he was very kind and loving to me.
My grandfather passed away quickly, it was only 2 hours after the first call from my sister that he left us. My family and I left the next day by flight. Not that it matters, but did you know that a lot of airlines are no longer offering bereavement Fares? I called several and was very upset by this, because flying last-minute in and out of Las Vegas is not cheap. However, I will tell you (me being a Military Spouse and all~!) I was offered through Southwest Airlines a Military Discount ( I couldn’t find anything published, so if you have a last-minute issue call them, to see if the fare is better or not) for my family.
While I was home, I had “FAMILY ISSUES”. I can’t stand it when people come. moaning, groaning and crying. when they were the ones who chose to not go around. I live how many thousands of miles? And I still make a point to stay in contact with my family, and when I am asked to come, I never make excuses, I take the bull by the horn and get it done! Ok, I admit I was very angry at several people. However I did hold my tongue. I held my tongue to the point, I only went to my mom and grandmothers house 1 time, and that was before 1 of the said individuals family arrived, and then I did not go back. Rightfully so, I should also admit at this point that I was never asked to come over either…..
I should admit at this time, that a bridge for the moment has been started to be built, between me and my mother. While standing at the funeral home, speaking with my mom’s best friend. I was speaking with Judy, and my mom walks up. She holds her head and says….” I really don’t like to be touched and hugged, but from all of this today I am kind of numb to it” At that moment Judy says “have you hugged your daughter today?” and she looks at me, my mom looks up with this blank stare. I said “no, you haven’t even spoken to me, or my family, every time we come near you, you run the other direction”, she steps towards me holds me tightly for a hug. She whispers “can you forgive me?” as she is sobbing. I said “only if you promise to change, I am tired of me and my family always being on your back burner. you can only push me away for so long in life before I am going to go away completely, and mom… I am at that point, that I am done.” she cried even more and said she would try.
I guess you could say..that saying my goodbyes to my Papa, has been pretty rough, on me. With dealing with individuals who haven’t bothered coming around when they live just moments from my mom’s house. That really bothers me, but as pointed out many times by many people. IT IS THOSE INDIVIDUALS WHO CHOSE NOT TO DO THE RIGHT THING, WHO WILL HAVE TO LIVE WITH THE CHOICES THEY HAVE MADE. I am proud that I have taken the time to take my children back and forth to Ohio, I admit that 2009 was not a very good year, and I had many regrets because of it, however going home and making this last attempt was the best thing I could have done.
I know that Papa lived a very long life, and lived as close to God’s word as he could. I am happy that I had the opportunity to let all my children know him. My sister and I purchased the Angels holding the flowers for our mom and Mama, so that they will be able to know how well cared for Papa is, and I know that they are already enjoying them. I am glad that my family was able to go home and pay our last respects to Papa, it was time for us to say our goodbyes, yet one last time.
I am so happy that Papa will never live another day with Dementia, and that he is now living in absolute freedom. I am also thankful that even though this was a time to say goodbye, that I was given the opportunity to start building a bridge with my mom. As they say… where one door closes another will open!