Waiting is the hardest part
Today, as I swept and cleaned and washed the dishes and folded the laundry, I did it all with an ulterior purpose. I was spending the day waiting for a phone call that would announce that my Grandfather had been removed from life support and had passed away. We got the call on Wednesday night that my Uncle had stopped by my Grandfather’s house after work and found hi on the floor, alive but having suffered a stroke.
He was taken to the hospital, intubated and on Thursday afternoon we were told that he had no brain function. He was brain dead.
And so on Friday, today as I write this (though it will post in my absence on Monday) we are waiting for the news that the doctors have allowed my Grandfather’s body to go (as I believe his spirit has already left). There are lessons here, in my Grandfather’s life but ultimately in his death.
He, Papa (pronounced in such a way that no one who isn’t related to him can’t seem to do it. Maybe you southern readers will have better luck with it) wasn’t a fan of modern established medicine. He treated himself through diet and herbs and other holistic treatments (including building his own inversion table a few years ago). Despite this distrust and dislike (he was non compliant in regards to treatment when they discovered the condition which was ultimately the cause of his demise) he never made out a living will. As I write this, we are waiting for him to jump through the hoops protocal dictates he must to be allowed to die. Which is NOT what he would have wanted.
And so I’m back to waiting for someone to die. Can I just say how absolutely surreal that situation is. Maybe surreal isn’t the right word? Freaking weird? That’s closer. There are, of course, situations where you pray for the dying to have every availble moment with those that love them. Praying for every minute and every second. My last two experiences, this one and the one before, were marked by people so ill that there was no only no chance of recovery, but no chance for meaning to anyone anymore. There would be no conversations, no last minute goodbyes, no waiting for someone to come. It just was just pain and anguish for those left and the shells of the people who were still here.
The clock ticks. Time seems to stand still. Has it only been 10 minutes since I last checked the clock. It feels like an hour. Did I hear the phone? Should I call and check? Call and ask? Wait, wait, wait, wait.
I’m not patience. It’s my biggest struggle. I LACK patience. I hate this wait. Wait. Wait. Wait.
My Papa passed away on the evening July 24th, 2009. We were due to see him at a family party in a week where he would have met Baby Bee, his fifth great-grandchild. He informed me a few weeks ago, when he called to congratulate me on Baby Bee that he was emptying out his leg so he could put more booze in it. Yes, I have THAT kind of family. When we travel north for our vacation, we will be raising a glass. Godspeed, Papa. I’m sure they have guitars in Heaven.