Sorry if this ends up being all jumbled up. I’m a tad emotional right now.
Grandpa was diagnosed with Level 4 Melanoma in his brain in late September, early October. He had surgery to remove the mass, but we were warned that the “feelers” of the cancer would grow, and he wouldn’t be with us for very long.
Grandpa came home in November (he lived with my Aunt, Uncle & Cousin), and was signed up with a wonderful Hospice here in town. The nurses who came to visit soon fell for his sweet disposition, his charm and warmth. At this time, his communication, coordination and balance weren’t very good. It was then that I started spending the weekdays with him. I made his breakfast and lunch, gave him manicures and foot rubs, and helped him in the bathroom. He loved to be pampered!
He made astounding progress in quick time, and became more independent and conversational. We talked about his time as a POW in Germany, what his childhood was like, and how he and Grandma met. They loved swing dancing at a local hall. When I asked if he’d ever met General Patton, he said, “Yep. He told me I was a tough son of a bitch!” with a grin. We listened to his favorite cowboy songs, and watched Westerns.
About 3 weeks ago, he started showing signs of the cancer’s return. Before he was bed ridden, one night he put on his hat and told mom that he needed to go home and tell Katherine (his wife) to start dinner. Periodically, he’d see or talk to Grandma. And then, he declined rapidly. But with the wonderful nurses’ care, he was never in pain. He died with dignity and peace.
But here’s the thing… Today is Grandma and Grandpa’s anniversary. He went home to Grandma to wish her a happy anniversary. And that, my friends, is why I’m so happy. Will I miss him? More than you’ll ever know. But I know he got what he’s wanted for 2 years: To be with his Katherine. I bet they’re going out dancing tonight.
I love you, Grandpa.
Hugs and Kisses.