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I remember this day like it happened yesterday. I was a sophomore in high school and Thanksgiving had just past. I had fallen asleep watching a movie in the living room we had in the basement.
It was about eight o’clock and I was woken up by a loud thump. Thinking someone had dropped something, I went back to sleep. It was when I heard my dad running above when I knew something was wrong. I ran up the stairs and watched as he ran into my Grandpa’s room which was right off the living room. He then yelled for me to go get my mom.
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I ran upstairs as fast as I could, told my mom something was wrong with Grandpa, and ran back down with her right behind me. Seconds later I heard my mom calling 911. My Grandpa had had a stroke and that’s when it all started. It was a long road from there. Two weeks passed and my Grandpa was moved from the hospital to a rehabilitation nursing center. He had to relearn how to walk and talk. Every day was a challenge for him.
It was hard for him to have conversations because he couldn’t remember words. The rehabilitation center was about fifteen minutes from my house so I tried my best to go see him a couple times a week.It was hard to see him like this. My Grandpa was always a very strong, independent man. After about six weeks of being in the rehabilitation center, he was able to come home. It was January and I had just turned sixteen.
It was the best birthday gift ever. In order for him to get his speech back, we had a speech therapist come to the house every other day. On the days the speech therapist wasn’t there, we would have a physical therapist come and work with him to get the strength in his left arm and leg back. He worked so hard every day but I could tell how tired and worn out it made him.I just kept hoping for him to recover fast so he wouldn’t be in any more pain. By the time three months had past, it was April and he was done with all his therapy.
Everything was looking up until August rolled around. Towards the middle of the month, my Grandpa started to notice swelling in his left arm. My dad took him into the hospital for some tests. When the tests results came back, it showed my Grandpa had Lymphoma cancer. He immediately started chemo therapy. He had the chemo therapy for about a month and in September, my dad took him in for his last treatment.
We were relieved that my Grandpa was cancer free and still with us.My Grandpa has been such an important person throughout my life. He took care of my brother and I everyday while my parents went to work.
And when we moved, my Grandparents moved into our new house with us so they could continue to take care of us. I felt so blessed that through all of this my Grandpa was still here with us. Everything seemed to go back to normal and everyday my Grandpa seemed more and more like his old self.
Soon enough my happiness faded. It was September 22nd and my Grandpa was having trouble breathing and fainted in the bathroom. My dad called 911 and they took him into the hospital once again to run some tests.They ended up keeping him overnight.
When the tests came back they showed he had blood clots in his brain. Before I knew it, a week had passed and they brought us bad news. “I’m sorry but there’s nothing more we can do for him. ” The blood clots had spread and were now every where in his body. It was after this that they moved my Grandpa into hospice.
I continued to visit my Grandpa 1everyday. I would go there right from school to watch T. V. like I did with him everyday at home. Another week had passed. It was Thursday and I got a call from my dad after school to come to the hospital. So I rushed over.
When I arrived at the hospital, I saw my dad, my brother, and the priest beside him. They told me it was unlikely for him to make it through the night and it was time to say our goodbyes. I sat down next to my Grandpa on his bed, grabbed his hand, and rested my head on his shoulder. The priest started speaking and I started crying. Towards the end of the priest’s prayers, my Grandpa whispered in my ear, “Be good. I love you so much.
” After the priest left, the rest of my family started showing up along with my girlfriend Christina. I stayed at the hospital until twelve o’clock and Christina drove me home.She walked me up to my room and tucked me into bed. As soon as I lay down I lost it and she held me while I cried. She told me how much my Grandpa loved me and how he would always look after me no matter where he is. At school the next day, I called my dad during third hour.
I asked him to call me out because I just wanted to come to the hospital and be by my Grandpa. I went straight to the hospital and sat by his side all day. When school was over Christina came to join me. Once again we stayed until twelve o’clock; Christina drove me home, and held me while I cried. Saturday I got up early and drove over to the hospital.I couldn’t bear not being around my Grandpa.
After dance Christina came over to keep me company. And like the days before, when twelve o’clock came, Christina drove me home and held me while I cried. Sunday morning I got up and Christina picked me up and took me to the hospital.
We stayed there the entire day by my Grandpa’s side. But when twelve o’clock came rolling around, I didn’t want to leave. For some reason I felt like I should stay but my dad convinced me to go home. At eight o’clock on Monday, October 6th, I walked down stairs wondering why I didn’t get in trouble for not walking up to go to school.I stopped half way down the steps when I saw my aunts and uncles sitting in the living room next to my parents. I walked over to my mom and she told me to have a seat. My mom hugged me and told me Grandpa had passed away at five thirty that morning.
It took me a while to hear what she was saying to me. After a few minutes I started crying. I couldn’t believe what was happening. Later that morning I stared at the wall as I listened to my dad call friends and family to tell them the bad news.
The next two days were the hardest and saddest days of my life.When I first walked into the funeral home, I watched as everyone went straight into my Grandpa’s room. I couldn’t make myself follow. I knew once I saw him laying there, he was never coming home and that was something I couldn’t deal with. After about twenty minutes my brother convinced me I needed to go see him or I’d regret it.
I walked in, saw his round belly sticking up out of the casket, and started crying. I went over to him and kneeled down. There I stayed, unable to leave his side. I’ve spent my entire life with him by my side and I just couldn’t imagine him not there.
That Wednesday was the funeral. I sat on the couch that was straight in front of my Grandpa‘s casket. I don’t remember anything the priest said. I wasn’t listening. All I could do was stare at my Grandpa. The priest finished the prayers and asked the back row to come forth.
One by one the rows went past my Grandpa and said their goodbyes. I was the last to say my goodbyes and as everyone was exiting, it occurred to me that I was never going to see my Grandpa’s face after this. Never again would I see him smile or feel his warm embrace. I would never hear him yell at me or tell me how much he loved me.
All I could do was stand and cry. I didn’t want to walk out of that room and never see him again. That day I lost someone very dear to me. My Grandpa was like a best friend. He was always there for me and he always loved me unconditionally.
Every day I walk past his room and hope to see him sitting there watching T. V. The pain of losing a loved one never goes away. But what helps the pain is when I think of him watching down on me. I think of him smiling at the person I’m becoming. I think he would be proud of me.
I will never forget my Grandpa and the impact he has made on my life.