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    Friday, March 23, 2007

    Stopping Frequently to Cry

    My grandfather fought in the Navy during WWII.

    He was only present for the birth of the youngest of his three children because he was always shipped out when they were born.

    He kept a small jar of insanity on his closet shelf and handed it out to us in measured doses, first naming us grandkids strange things like "Crystal Bananna the Squirrel Sprout", Macho Runt", and "Jackquayline", then as time went on, going further and confusing us with strange things like the tale of "Windercella and ter hree sugly eisters, the prandsome hince, and the sass glipper that fidn't dit.", and a song about a sausage maker that is similar to this one.

    He spent his life buying houses one at a time, making them what he and grandmother would call "good enough to live in", adding ponds, fireplaces, porches, everything to make a place perfect, then they'd move to a new place and start over again, buying the new house with the money from the sale of the old one.

    My grandfather was a pirate in "The Pirates of Pinzance". All he'd ever say about it was that they had to cry.

    He lost his only son at the age of only 16 to electrocution, and spent his life blaming himself for the death while mourning that his daughters weren't more successful.

    My grandfather spent many years traveling the country selling institutional and commercial-sized McCormick products.

    He was a master woodworker who could make nearly anything out of a chunk of lumber, and it would last forever.

    Enduring around 50 surgeries in his neck, back, hips, and legs, and resistant to most painkillers, he was the strongest (and most stubborn) man I have ever known. The last operation, over 4 years ago, left him bedridden and the constant, recurring infections began not long afterwards.

    He survived staff infection, and over 25 years of his life with a permanently straight leg.

    And now, he is in the ICU of St. John's hospital, in a morphine-induced semi-coma after several hours of begging anyone, begging God to let him die quick, to end it, to not let him die a slow death.

    I expect him to pass sometime tonight. He has had his last rights, and we have all had a chance to say goodbye and wish him well on his upcoming journey.

    It was so hard to stand by him an watch him plead and beg for release.

    2 comments:

    lovelife said...

    i am So so Sorry. Much love is sent your way.Call if you need a friend.

    Mama Chaos said...

    I'm sory for your grandfather's suffering. Sending thoughts for a quick passing.