6 weeks ago... (sorry, long post)
Our "papa" died - at 84, he suffered a stoke, no warning, on Saturday. Sunday, he had other strokes, and died late that tonight. He was in generally "well" health - we had no warning signs. Never again will I attempt to substantiate a death of an elderly person as "he lived long", etc... I know it was time for him to go, but we weren't ready.
This weekend, his wife of 64 years, Granny, went into the hospital for swelling and associated breathing problems. The doctors asked us today whether she has a living will and a DNR - she has both. He told us she is at "the beginning of the end" and they will make her comfortable, send her home as soon as she is stable, with hospice health nurses.
This is so hard for everyone, but with Granny it is more of an acceptance, as she's been in congestive heart failure for awhile, with other health issues a constant. Papa's death was just a huge blow to everyone, he was fine, out on Saturday morning, ironically, at the annual cemetery cleaning day - he cleaned his and grannys' headstone on Saturday, was buried there on Wednesday. When we were there, in the summer, he had told his daughters about the funeral he wanted. He got exactly what he wanted. One of the quotes of my familys' the pastor used at the funeral was, Everytime we leave papa and granny, we treat it as if it will be the last, but we never want it to be. His doctor closed his office, the staff attended the funeral and the doctor gave one of the eulogies. What a tribute to a great man.
These are the grandparents I wish everyone could experience - I've been part of their lives for the 18+ years I've been part of the family. The love they showed each other and everyone else was something everyone should stive for. On their 50th anniversary, in 86, their answer to "What would you change if you did it again?" Was "Not a thing". I pray my DH and I will be together, happily, as long as they were.
We were so blessed through this. My family is 500 miles away from everyone else - DH is in a tourist management job - NEVER takes off in the summer - this summer, as I was planning my trip to FL, I asked him to drive down with me, and fly back. He first said no, it was too busy. Then the next morning we bought his airfare. We were all together 6 weeks before papa died. Another blessing, we moved away 6 years ago, and have missed the annual family Christmas Eve celebration - this past Thanksgiving, as we left, we decided to come back. We surprised everyone - flew in on the 23rd, home on the 25th. The first thing we heard when we got there in September was how happy everyone was that we had been there for Christmas, and 6 weeks earlier. How blessed we were, even in the face of our family tragedy.
I know this is a long, rambling post. Just some thoughts that have been bouncing around in my head over the past few weeks.