My eyes well up with tears just looking at that date.
He was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2009. Four+ years of pain is finally over for him.
I was told in February that he didn't have much time. Carlos and I went to Stockholm, Saskatchewan to visit my grandparents. The time was mostly spent with my grandma, because my grandpa did a lot of resting. But I'm really glad that I got to see him again while he was still mostly with us, and tell him that I love him, and hug him.
He spent as much time as he could away from the hospital. When his pain medications were no longer adequate, my grandmother took him to the hospital in Esterhazy, Saskatchewan last Monday. My mother drove out on Wednesday to see him and her mom, and stayed for a week. My sister went out on Thursday, my aunt went Friday, my Dad and I went Saturday.
I'm grateful that my dad gave me forewarning of my grandfathers' visible decline, but I don't think anything could have prepared me for the sight of him. It was heartbreaking. Utterly heartbreaking.
My grandfather always had a pretty pessimistic outlook on life. I suppose that's what told me to view life differently, to be more positive. My sister and I always joke(d) that there would be not a cloud in the sky, and grandpa would state, "It's gonna rain, and the crops don't need it."
He would also consistently, and without exception, insist that he would die any minute. If not now, than tomorrow. As far back as I can remember. For as much as he insisted his life was over, he sure fought long and hard to stay alive.
I'm making him sound like an old grouch. He really wasn't. He was always kind and generous. He enjoyed having his family around, and laughing. My sister and I called him Papa for a long time. Going to Grandma and Papa's. I don't know when or why we stopped.
One of my most tender and favourite memories of him is when I was staying with my grandparents out at their grain farm just outside of Stockholm. I'm not sure what my age was, but I was sick with a cold, and was having a hard time getting to sleep. My grandfather sat on the bed, with me all tucked in, and stroked my hair across my forehead while I fell asleep.
My earliest memory of him, is when we were over at my grandmother's sister's house in Esterhazy celebrating Christmas. I think I was age 2 or 3...I couldn't have been older than four years old, I was bouncing around the way little kids do when they're with family. I started to choke, I'm thinking it was on ribbon candy, or just on some candy cane. I remember my grandfather, with his rough farmer hand, reaching into my throat and pulling out the candy.
I wish I could explain the way I'm feeling. On one hand, I'm relieved that his suffering is over, that he finally feels peace. On the other hand, I'm having a really hard time imagining the world without him. He would have made a fantastic great grandfather. I'm feeling a bit selfish. I really wish he was still in the world as my grandfather.
I neglected my cooking project last week, for this reason, and I'm neglecting it again this week.
Prayers are Friday night. Funeral is Saturday.