My Mom called me last weekend to tell me that my Grandpa is not doing well. He’s swollen, filled with fluid due to a weak heart. The doctor told him that he doesn’t have much time left and that he’ll most likely die in his sleep. This isn’t the first time I’ve been told he’s very sick and it’s not the first time I’ve tried to mentally prepare for his death. But each time, he’s managed to pull through and keep on ticking. This time though… This time just seems different.
He can’t see anymore and he can’t move around much (except to go to the bathroom and to doctor’s visits). He told me that he sits in his chair all day and thinks about me and all of the memories we’ve had.
“I have such good memories of you, Y.” He said. “I sit here all day and I think about you and all the times we’ve had. I have had a good life, I have a good family.”
I tried to respond to tell him all of the ways that he’s impacted my life and how I couldn’t have survived my teenagers years without him but as I went to say the words, I could feel the lump in my throat and the tears welling up in my eyes. I took a deep breath, fought back the tears and instead of telling him everything that he means to me, I simply told him that I have wonderful memories too and that I love him.
My heart breaks when I think of living in a world in which he no longer exists. And at the same time, my heart breaks when I think of him sitting in that chair all day long, unable to get around, unable to see, laboring for every breath.
I think of him sitting in that chair thinking of me and I break down and weep.
Oh, Sweet Opa, how I love him and how incredibly blessed I’ve been to have him in my life for as long as I have.