Tonight my heart is heavy and my thoughts are somber as I wonder what the rest of this week will bring. Today as I was having my weekly chat with my Nannie (grandmother) I suddenly heard my GrandDaddy scream out in pain. My demeanor went from one of lazy chit chat to instant alarm. My GrandDaddy is 86 years old and for the last year has been declining in health slowly but surely. He hardly ever complains so to hear him screaming was very alarming. Trying to calm myself I waited patiently for my Nannie to call me back to tell me what was going on.
To keep a long story as short as possible, my Grandfather who has for years had issues with blood clots as developed a really bad one in his leg. It is red, sore, painful, and can be deadly. One year ago he decided he would never return to a hospital. He had been chair bound for several days legs swollen, fluid seaping from them, and he could not even make it to the bathroom. So he went to the hospital and they prescribed medications to rid his body of the fluid, compression stockings to help with the swelling and a ton of test! After several test he put his foot down and said no more. Immediately everyone said, "he is so stubborn, why won't he do what we say".....
But my take on it is this, he is 86 years old, his mind is going! Most of our conversations any more take place in Germany 60 years or more ago during World War II. I have learned more about his military time than I ever thought I would.
At 86 years old, most of his friends are gone. There are very few people who he grew up with, went to school with, and made memories with that are still alive. He can't get around, he has only left the house on a handful of occasions in the last year, most of them doctors appointments. He can't attend church, work his garden, or go to the peach orchard. Walking from the living room to the back porch causes him to be winded. If you were in that shape would you want to take medicine to stay alive? If there were no guarantee that your condition would change, only that you would live in that same state for a longer length of time. I wouldn't....you couldn't make me! So maybe I am as stubborn as he, but I say leave him ALONE. Lets just love him as he is for as long as he is here, and remember the times we have had with him.
Now I am not going to get flowery and pretend that he was a saint, he is not, and was not..... but he does love his family and God.
The things I remember most about my GrandDaddy: going to the barn in the morning while he was milking cows, he would let me feed the babies with a bottle and let them suck my thumbs while the mamas were milked. I remember going to the sale barn with a big Holstein in the back of the truck kicking holes in the truck bed. I remember the Sugar Daddys he kept in the corner of the cabinet for us. I remember the ice cream cups he bought for us when the milk truck came. I remember planting the garden, picking beans, eating watermelon straight from the patch on the back porch, juice running down our chins and covering us with sticky sugar. I remember he showing up in our backyard in his bathing suit with inner tubes hollering for us to throw on a bathing suit and come with him. I remember bushels of peaches and him winking at me asking if I wanted a good ole peach! I remember riding in the truck while he threw hay onto the flat bed truck. I remember him reading his bible every morning and writing letters to my aunts every night. I will always remember The Rule of 72, which he taught us night after night when he was selling insurance and investments. I remember the afternoon after church that he loaded me up in the car and we went to Six Flags, just me and him and Nannie. I remember Sunday afternoon lunches and his prayer over every meal. I remember that there was always a hot dog available for lunch, and he would let us drink coffee no matter how old we were. This blog could go on forever.....I have 36 years of memories and I love each and every one!
I know his days are short and I am thankful for every day I have had with him in my life! Lord be with me as the time comes and comfort my heart to know that there will be no more pain.
I love you GrandDaddy!