One night when I was about seven months pregnant I was driving home from work listening to some sad country song about cancer and started contemplating mortality. By the time I got home I was bawling. I started thinking about what if my grandpa, who means the world to me, doesn’t get to meet my baby?
His health has been declining for years. He has a tumor on his spine and it has really limited his mobility and quality of life. I just had the worst feeling that I wouldn’t have all too much longer with him. Luckily he has gotten to spend some time with Theodore. Not nearly as much as I’d like since we live two hours away but it was a huge relief that they got to meet and that I have pictures of them together.
Theodore might not remember him when he gets older but I know I will talk about him and to have pictures of them together is something I will cherish forever. Grandpa’s health has never really got better but it hadn’t really been getting worse either so I hadn’t thought about it much these last few months.
Then this Monday afternoon I got a text from my mom during the middle of the day saying “Call me when you get a chance.” Seemingly innocent enough but I knew something was wrong. My mom is a workaholic so the chances of her texting me in the middle of the day just so talk are slim to none.
My grandpa, one of my very favorite people in the world, was taken to the hospital Sunday. After spending most of the day in the hospital with dangerously low blood pressure they decided exploratory surgery would be necessary if he had any chance of making it. As it turned out part of his colon had died which made him incredibly sick. They removed the dead portion and gave him a colostomy. But because his blood pressure was so low his kidneys stopped functioning, requiring him to have daily dialysis. He may also have liver and brain damage.
So the three of us went to visit him in the hospital on Tuesday but he was on a ventilator and heavily sedated. I did get to say hi to him really quickly when they lightened the sedation for a small period of time but I don’t know if he really understood me or even if he knew who was speaking to him.
The chances of him ever coming home now seem very small. Hopefully he will make it out of the hospital and into an assisted living facility but I don’t see him ever coming home to my grandma. Thinking about life without my grandpa is a horrible thing but I can’t image being my grandma, possibly facing the loss of her love of 60 years. At the very least their lives will be drastically different from here on out. I love them both so much and my world would be so different without them.