Well, it’s now getting late on Sunday, May 15th, 2011 and I have to say that the first near half of this year has been a terrible emotional roller-coaster. This month has also had it’s ups and downs, it’s twists and turns. There is a lot inside of me that I need to get out, ‘down on paper’, into this computer..whichever way you’d like to look at it. I’ve gotten the urge a few times in the past couple of days to do this, and every time I’ve sat down to do so, nothing really comes out.
With that said, I can’t guarantee you something will come out this time either. But for me, writing has always been something I did when, and only when, it needed to come out, when it needed to happen. And I can feel that need building in me, emotionally as well as intellectually. I keep feeling like it needs to come out, but by and large when I’m no where near my computer, or a notebook. I honestly can’t tell if it’s because it’s not ready, I’m not ready…or things have literally just been delaying it.
Last Sunday was Mother’s Day. The day before that I had gone to visit my grandfather in the hospital as he was recovering from a hip-replacement surgery. He, according to my parents, had been doing not so well in the time leading up to the surgery. He hadn’t looked well, on top of all the pain he was in. Despite the doubts my parents had had about the possibility of him reaching his 90th birthday, he had pulled through the surgery with flying colors, up and walking the day after getting out of the O.R.
I had arrived from the west coast on April 27th, the day after his surgery. We had set it up to surprise him in the hospital with a visit from me. He honestly did look, sound and seem fantastic. His color was good, his energy was good, his spirits were up and he was already planning all the things he wanted to get back to doing, but hadn’t been able to because of the pain. We were all quite pleased with his progress even in a day, and our hopes that he’d see 90 were refreshed and renewed. Feeling a bit more at peace and less apprehensive, we went on with our plans for the next week.
On April 28th, we drove from CT to Mass. to surprise and visit with my brother and his wife, attending his stundents’ last big concert of the school year, the first I had ever been able to attend. We informed them both on our Grandfather’s current state and our hopes.
On April 29th, we woke early and drove from CT to Maryland, to stay with my Great-Aunt Cindy, and to visit with her son Michael and his wife Angela and their new baby. Once again, we spoke of the current state of my Grandfather, passing along the good news. We spent a handful of days there, and came back to CT on Wednesday the 4th. Between work (for my parents) and the near constant driving we had done for many days in a row, it took a few days to really get back to feeling somewhat normal.
On May 7th, we spent the early evening at the hospital, visiting with my grandfather. He had been moved up a couple of floors to do his recouperating and his physical therapy. He’d been doing extremely well, getting through his exersizes and therapy with an impressive gusto, determination and zeal. He was very pleased and proud of himself with what he’d been learning and doing with the doctors and therapy staff, and it was scheduled that he would go home early. The final decision on his return home would be Sunday, May 8th. Mother’s Day.
His return home was successful, and he had his walkers and his cane in order to move about the house as he needed to. After sleeping in a bit, and made sure she got her gifts, my father and I had taken my mother out for the day, a little shopping, a lot of talking, and an early dinner. A lovely, relaxing and simply enjoyable day.
Monday rolls around, Dad bustling around the house between his work and dealing with the mechanic who came out to fix the freezer in the kitchen. Mom, bustling around doing her thing before she had to head off to work. I slept in a bit and camped out in my room reading while I waited for the mechanic to leave. Mom fields a phone call from the visiting nurse, who was on her way to see my Grandfather but hadn’t been able to get him on the phone. Now, my Uncle lives with my Grandfather, so he wasn’t alone, but my Grandfather is known for sleeping at interesting times of the day, so it didn’t seem too out of the ordinary. My Mother said as much to the nurse and said that she’d call my Uncle directly just to check in.
This is when things really start to become as if a dream was wrapping around all of us, supremely surreal and completely unbelievable.
I’m vaguely tuned into what’s going on on the other side of the bedroom door, but the sharp change in tone of voice as my Mother gets a hold of my Uncle snaps me into full listen-mode. The book laying forgotten in my hands, I stare at the door as I listen for more on my Mother’s end of the conversation. Soon enough, I hear her call down the hallway to my Father, summoning him out of the office. “….the police are there…” That is what stood out most for me in all of the frantic words coming from my mother.
Any number of things ran through my head at the utterance of those words..all of which I will not repeat here.
Needless to say, things went immediately on autopilot for all three of us, I will venture. Thankfully, the mechanic working on the freezer was basically done with his work when the call was happening, and my Father quickly explained enough to get things wrapped up as quickly as possible, so we could head over to my Gradfather’s house. Which we did do, toute de suite, with mostly speculation on our lips.
I will go into more of what happened from this point on in another post, but suffice to say at this point that yes, he did indeed pass in less than 24 hours of being home from the hospital.