Thursday Ten Which Is Not Ten But Only One And Also It’s Wednesday

After I wrote this morning’s post, I received an email from my mother that hospice doesn’t think my grandpa will make it until his birthday. I was at work when I got her email, and tears instantly rushed into my eyes and my brain kind of went on auto-pilot sorting through the things I needed to do so I could be with my family. I checked with HR, do I have any PTO? Yes, they confirmed that I did.

I quickly went through my to-do list, completing urgent tasks, sending an email to the department letting them know I’d be out.

I hit the drive through of an atrocious fast food restaurant, picked up a bucket of diet Coke and went to the nursing home. I sat in the parking lot for over five minutes, steeling myself to walk in, to keep my face calm, to not cry.

My grandmother and I were in tears together within five minutes of my walking in the room.

At first, it was just me and my grandmother. Then my aunt arrived. Then my sister and my niece. Then my mother. Later a neighbor. My uncle and cousin. My aunt. Another uncle. It was a full house.

We’ve cried a lot today. Grandpa’s done a lot of sleeping. I’m grateful that he woke up enough when the nurses moved him to a hospital bed in his living room to say my name and to respond, “Love you, too,” when I told him I love him.

We all want a piece of this, the recognition, the seeing him see us. We want more of it, because if it doesn’t happen now, how will we ever remember just what it was that he said when he spoke to us for the last time? It’s selfish, I know, and my dad said to me tonight, “Sarah, he’s tired. Let him sleep.” But the family – myself included – just want a glimpse of the man he was, the one who loves us, the one who sees us, the one we know.

My grandpa has always been the king of “I booped your nose” – touching a great-grandkid’s nose with his pointer finger. My niece, wrapped in my sister’s arms, leaned to touch my grandpa’s nose. “Boop!” she said. He lifted his hand, shaking and unprecise, eventually finding her nose with his finger to boop back.

And then he fell asleep and mostly stayed asleep. We encouraged grandma to sit by him – “But he won’t know I’m here!” she argued. He will, we said. And he did. Though he didn’t speak, you could see his face react when she spoke. She leaned closely, her forehead pressed to his, saying things we could not hear.

My heart is breaking, it is. All of us are having a hard time. We know his body is tired. We know, we know, we know. But we’re going to miss him so much that letting go feels impossible.

About sarah

Sarah is a book nerd, a music lover, an endorphin junkie, a coffee addict. Oh, and a goof ball. She writes, she tweets, and she sings off key.

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