RIP to All Loved Ones
Above is a picture of my family from Thanksgiving of 2010. That was the first Thanksgiving that I had spent with my mother’s side in a while. I was really happy because we hadn’t been together in a while. I lived in Michigan, my aunt and two of my cousins live in Texas, my uncle and his son live in Iowa, and the rest of the family that were there live here in Indiana. This is not only a great family picture, but it’s also the last picture that I have with my grandpa.
I had never lost someone that I was close to before, with the exception of my uncle when I was a child. Even my great grandparents are still alive. My grandpa has been sick all of his life; he was born with a bad heart. Last November his health got worse. The doctors told us that he only had a year or two to live because his heart was overworking. After that, he couldn’t stay with us anymore. He had to move in with some of our cousins whom he grew up with. That was the last time I saw my grandpa. I used to think about him and how I should call him, just to see how he was doing. To check up on him. Now I think about how I should have called him and how I’m too late. He would call me to ask if I would go to church with him but it never happened.
On March 25th we rushed to the hospital after hearing that my grandpa had a heart attack and was in a coma after going into cardiac arrest. Six days later the doctors pulled the plug on him. The next day, April 1st (the same day as my Call Back session for the pageant), he was no longer able to breathe on his own. The last time I saw my grandpa alive was when he was dying.
My grandpa was a very strong man. He never let anyone know how sick he really was. He never let anyone know about his worries, fears, or troubles. He just didn’t want to worry anyone. But he always told me. Why didn’t I call him? I remember him breaking down crying because he wanted to make his marriage work. He trusted me. Until this day, no one else knows what he has told me.
At the hospital once everyone had left, I forgot something in the room so I had to go back to get it. I stopped in the doorway as I saw his soon-to-be ex wife bawling her eyes out. She was holding his hand. I didn’t know what to say because no matter what I said, he wouldn’t come out of the coma. I just went over to her and put my hand on her back. We just stood there in silence until she was ready to go. That’s the moment I realized that despite the ignored phone calls and mean words, she still loved him. It seems like I’m the only one that hasn’t yet burst into tears. I’ve cried twice since March 25th. Once before a national exam when I got the news that he wouldn’t make it and once when I overheard my family talking about pulling the plug. I know that when it does finally hit me that I will never see my grandpa again, that I will cry like I never have before.
I guess this post is just a coping mechanism. Everyone has given me the standard lectures on life and death. “He’ll always be watching down on you, you just always have to remember him, always carry him in your heart” and so on, and so forth. My favorite lecture on life and death is the one from today. “An absent body is present with the Lord.” As much as I want him to dance and sing with God like he used to with me, I still can’t help but want him to still be in his “shell.” At least that way I could still talk to and laugh with him;go out and admire mustangs (my dream car). But I know that I can’t again.
The bottom line is, never take life for granted and never miss the chance to tell someone that you love them. You never know when the last time will be. RIP to all loved ones that have passed. May they forever rest in Paradise.