I'm just getting back from the hospital from seeing my grandpa. He just had surgery to get rid of colon cancer. The surgery went well, and I'm happy about that. Thank God for the doctor's steady hands and that the surgery was a success. But while in that hospital room, I saw just how helpless my grandfather is.
I remember going down to Mexia Texas every summer to stay with my grandparents. We would go down there to the country and go fish, feed his cows, tend to his fields and gardens. SOO MUCH. My grandfather was a very strong, loud, fun person to be around. I miss those days, the times we spent. The laughs, the scary times in their old "haunted" house haha. Those memories are what make me smile.
My grandfather has been through many surgeries since then. He had cancer before, I don't remember which, but he did have cancer before. He was strong and fought through it because that's just who he is. Another big thing that happened was when he was working in the field alone one day about 10 years ago, he was in a tractor accident, the tractor rolled over his legs. He has since had both of them amputated.
Here recently was the colon cancer thing and the beginning signs of Alzheimer's. Even knowing all of these things have happened to my grandfather, I have always seen him as the same person. The big strong guy that could do anything on his own. Who cares if he was walking on artificial legs or in a wheel chair, he could still do anything!! Well, tonight at the hospital reality struck.
It first set in when me and my dad went to help my granny get the stuff out of the car. We loaded his wheel chair with things to wheel in, the last things to grab in the truck were his artificial legs... I carried those in. It never hit me even though I have seen him without his legs on. But just to be walking through the hospital holding his artificial legs I thought "My grandpa can't walk on his own legs..." Later in the room he was trying to move and reposition himself in his bed, but he couldn't. He could not do it alone. He had to ask for help from my granny just to change position in bed. At their home, there is a pole he can reach up to and use his arms to re-position. He kept reaching for it and realizing it was not there. Seeing my paw paw like this hurt me almost to the point of tears. I wondered "Where is the paw paw I used to go visit?" "Why did all this have to happen to him" "I WANT MY PAW PAW BACK" It really hurts to see, but in all that he has lost and he can no longer do, there is something that God gave him a long time ago that has never left his side. His wife.
My granny has been there, taking care of him since I can remember. She is such a kind, loving, compassionate person. I love her so much. She is the type that will work herself into the ground to make sure everyone else is taken care of. We often get mad at her for doing that to herself, but that's who she is. But seeing her in there tonight taking care of my paw paw put a little smile on my face. To see such love after so many years. I want that, and I know God will provide one day...ONE day haha. It's just great to know that my grandpa has my granny there by his side to take care of him through it all. To be honest, even when he was in tip top shape, I don't think he would have been as strong without her there =) don't tell him I said that lol.
Wow, this is getting long, but I just had so much to say. Though I hate seeing my paw paw in this state, I still have him. I know plenty of people that can't say that. I feel guilty that as I have gotten older, have kind of lost touch. I don't get to see my grandparents as much, and most of the time I don't even think to call. That is so selfish of me to do. I still have all of my grandparents, though I can see their former selves from my childhood memories fading, I still have them. and
For that I am blessed.
Tell the ones closest to you that you love them. Spend time with your family. If you still have your grandparents, don't throw them on the back burner. Cherish them while they are still around. Because you never know when God will call them home.
I love you Arbra Lewis Echols. I see you today, but no matter what I see, I will always remember the good times from my childhood. I hope to make you proud. Stay strong and I'll call you more =)