***** I wrote this at 8 in the AM and now it's 8 in the PM... just so ya guys know..
As the van rolls down the 401 on our way to Toronto to drop my sister off at university many memories go through my mind but one just won’t go away.
It seems impossible that a year ago yesterday (The 28th) I was told. We had just gotten home from dropping my sister off at University in Toronto. I was in my aunt’s van (which we had borrowed- more room) my mom was in the grocery store picking up food for dinner.
*Ring Ring Ring* rang my mothers cellphone… and of course I being the great courtous
daughter I am.. I answered it. It was my father asking for my mom... that’s preculior why won’t he talk to me. My mom was just exiting the grocery store so I told him she’d be just a couple minutes.
Finally when my mother got on the phone there were lots of “Okays” and “Mhms”. She got off the phone and said the dreaded words.
“They said grandpa had about 24 hours to live. So we’re going to drop the stuff off at home and if you want we can pack up stuff and go to the hospital. Jerome has your cousins out to dinner but then they are going.”
I wanted to go… I NEEDED to go. Tears streaming down our faces we drove home. Once I got home I did the only thing I could think to do- Go online and talk to HER; the only person who can calm me down, make me feel better and the only person who has ever truly understood me. My BEST FRIEND in the WHOLE world, the one girl I have a crush on that I know I will never tell her about or do anything about.
She wasn’t online, I tried calling her- she wasn’t home so I sent her an email telling her to call I NEEDED her… I NEEDED to hear her voice say that it’ll all be okay.
I packed up my favourite books, my favourite sweatshirt, and medicine for the headache I knew was about to arrive from all the crying.
My grandpa had been in the hospital off and on all summer and had only gotten worse. At first I didn’t want to visit him, this was MY grandpa of course he’d be his old self in a week or two and he’d be driving me places, teasing me, and tapping his fingers on the steering wheel.
As the months wore on I realized he wasn’t getting better, in fact he was getting worse. I started wanting to see him more and more no matter how hard it was to see this strong man so weak not even able to sit himself up.
After buzzing into the ICU and being allowed in my dad met me, another man I had never seen weak, worried or scared: bags were under his eyes, and worry lined his face.
I went into my grandpa’s room. A big lounge chair had been moved in as well as about 5 others my grandma was sitting there half asleep in her chair holding my granpa’s hand, my grandpa laying there asleep looking weak and fragile, my aunt was sitting down, her usual perky personality was nowhere to be seen, in it’s place was a sad women who I barely recognized.
I was trying hard not to cry, how could I cry at a time like this I needed to be strong for my dad, mom, grandma and aunt, I had to show what a “Big Girl” I could be.
***** We are now stopped at a timmy’s. My mother and sister are attempting to try and figure out how to stop this banging that is occurring on the top of our van roof. We have a mattress cover/thin mattress pad on the roof then my sister’s HUGE suitcase… it’s tied down my straps. As we zoom along the 401 all we can hear is “Clang, clank, bam, boom, bonk” etc. It’s rather annoying. I think they are now attempting to take the suitcase down and put it in the car.. but I’m not quite sure.. I know where it’s safest- right in here.. not saying a word or getting in the way… I’m actually wedged in here quite nicely it’s like a nice little cocoon.*** So I decided to go into Timmy’s with my mom and sister. Sandwich now eaten carton of chocolate milk between my arm and laptop I’m back to writing.***
My cousins joined us and we stayed all night. My cousins Jeremy and Jacob, their mom- my aunt Janet, my father, my grandma, my mom, and of course the reason we were all there; my grandpa. The hospital has a pretty strict rule about how many people are allowed to be with a patient in the room. The limit is 3. We were definitely past that limit especially when friends and other people came in to visit.
There was another room which was usually used for people waiting for surgeries to end which we took over… we pretty much ruled that whole floor of the hospital.. my dad has connections; working at the hospital for a special program a time a week for 10 months a year for the last bizzilion years will lead you to get connections.
On the 30th the shock had a playoff game. I didn’t want to leave… I knew my grandpa’s 24 hours had long past and any time now he wouldn’t be around to tease me, drive me places, and just be my grandpa.
I was FORCED to go to that game. My dad who normally goes of course wasn’t about to leave his father, sister and mother so my mom drove me to the game and sat with me.
It was of course one of my Grandparents wishes that no matter what was happening with my grandpa that I go to the Shock games and continue to go no matter what.
The Shock won. But my mind wasn’t really in the game especially after my mom’s cellphone rang once again… I knew it was my father once again. It wasn’t until the game was over and done with that my mom told me.
We drove home; over the bridge through tolls etc. Stopping at Mickey D’s for a potty break. We called my dad to tell him we were almost home. When we got there he was there.
I got out and hugged him.. something I hadn’t done really done before this horrible month. He was crying. I hadn’t seen him cry in years… not since his friend ( a cop) got killed on New Years eve.
The Shock were in the playoffs and played again in two days.. I wasn’t allowed to miss it. We had a night of visitation the next day was the funeral, after the funeral was the usual meet and greet eat fest. Then my dad and I left early and went to the Shock game.
I know there are several small little details missing and some there that don’t really matter. I know this story isn’t important to you guys but it’s a story that makes me who I am. It’s the only story I can think about coming on to the 1 year anniversary of my Grandpa’s death.
It may sound weird but I’d do anything to have those last few days where we all lived in the hospital back because since then we haven’t been a family, we’ve all parted our own ways. We haven’t celebrated like we usually do… a shadow of grief is over us and it just won’t go away. I’m hoping now that since a year has come and gone (or will be on Thursday) that my family will once again become something closely resembeling what we used to be.
*** I’ll update you guys during my trip…..