Wednesday, February 6, 2013

"Grandmas & Grandpas hold our tiny hands for just a little while, but our hearts forever." 
If anyone knows our family they know what is going on with my Grandpa. My Grandpa's electrolytes are way off and his body is giving out way too fast--he has made it clear while he was healthy that he absolutely does not want to receive anything to prolong his life--so we are left with just that. Waiting... 

We lost our Grandma on December 23, 2010 to cancer. The doctors caught it so late, she only was given a week to live. After thinking it was depression, then diabetes, then this or was eventually cancer. Our family was shocked, scared, frustrated and lost. Our family from all over (uncles & cousins)rallied together, taking last minute flights, driving 14 hrs to be there right after her "sentence" was given to be by her side. My grandma wanted to be at home, and with Christmas around the corner, the family was blessed to all be together and support each other. I will never forget the day my Grandma passed. Everyone went to a movie/the mall/or to get lunch to let my Grandma rest and to clear their heads. They had all just been in to kiss my Granddma,and give her hugs, while she was slipping in and out, in and out. My mom, my Aunt and I decided to stay at the house so we could check on her, and clean the place up. Within minutes of everyone leaving, my Grandma passed. It was literally like she was waiting to have everyone's blessings and goodbyes before she left us. It was almost "magical" in the weirdest way possible. We were all able to be there, kiss her, let her go essentially. And all the while my Grandma hung on, and clung to her life waiting on her children, and grandchildren to say their goodbyes.

After my Grandma passed, my Grandpa was alone. Just that. Alone. He didn't know a life without my Grandma. My twin sister moved in with him to keep him company and help him process his feelings. Nothing seemed to help. Although physically he was healthy, and was still exercising, his heart was broken. And not in a way that younger people can relate to. In a way that can never be mended with "time"--his love, his wife, the mother of his children, had passed, and left him to conquer this world on his own. Their marriage was gone but that gold band still clung tight to his left finger. He talked about Grandma all the time. Talked about how love is so fragile, tender and beautiful. He whispered at night, "I love you Regine", he walked around the house, fixing her purse that still hung around their chair, straightening the pictures of them as young, new parents. That's all he knew to do. After two years of living with a broken heart, it really took a toll on his body. Within a year my Grandpa has lost a substantial amt of weight, lost his appetite, lost his words, his coherency, and after making it clear he wanted nothing prolonging his life...he is ready.
i know...
that this is a hard time, yet is all too familiar to us with my Grandma. With both of them, we have received such a short period of time left with them. I have gone to see my grandpa, held his hand, told him I love him and prayed for a glimmer, a spark--something that lets me know he knows me. I brought Levi in to see him and he opened his eyes so big, his lips curled up and his eyes twinkled. Levi shot him a shy smile and we had him there for a few seconds. But, that's all i needed. I am so thankful that Levi has gotten a chance to be with his Great Grandfather these past 16 months...but sadly, i know Levi will not have memories of him as he gets older. What i do know, is i will have memories to last a LIFETIME. I will not list all of them because this post is becoming emotional as it is..but i do know how lucky my sisters and I are to have essentially grown up with my Grandma and Grandpa. We have seen them strong and weak, happy and broken. But in these next days or weeks in my Grandpa's life, i will sing. I will sing obnoxious songs about absolutely nothing, because my Grandpa always did that. I will look at the love of my life and know this is not forever, this is until God chooses to take us away from each other and this moment is all we are certain of. I will look at my fragile Grandpa, as he is asleep (hopefully dreaming of my Grandma) and know how lucky I am to have such memories--that i can smile about. That i can share with my kids one day.
i know...
That my Grandpa accepted Christ just a few short weeks ago. I know that he is headed to a beautiful, beautiful eternity. I know how important it is to me that Levi have a beautiful relationship with my Mom and Dad, as well as Joshs'. Grandparents really are a gift from God, and I am so lucky to have called Regine & Sheldon my Mamaw & Papaw.

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