Monday, April 22, 2013

Passings and Other Assorted Things

1. My grandfather passed away last Wednesday. He was 96 years old.  I sat vigil with him the night before he died.  It was not a pretty sight and really hard to watch him struggle to breathe. Very traumatic.

I held him in my arms as he passed away.  I was by myself with him and told him it was okay to go.  I told him that I loved him and that he should go see Grandma and Jeanne and Mike.  It was one of the hardest things I've ever done, but also one of the most profound.  I'm still sorting out the whole experience.

I've brought three lives into this world and now I've had the privilege to help someone move to the next.

I've probably got an entire post to write about the days leading up to his death and now days after how my family is handling everything.  My dad is having a hard time. The kids are pretty upset and I'm proud of myself of how I dealt with it all and how I've been able to talk to them in an honest way.  This is our first death in the family since Jeanne and Mike, and although it's different dying at 96, it's opened up a lot of grief and questions and anxiety.

2.  In the middle of spring break Liam got sick (turns out Asian flu b) and then he got better and then he got viral myositis and was hospitalized.  Turns out the flu virus can attack your muscles and in L's case it was his calve muscles and he stopped walking.  Scary.  He's fine now and after lots of IV fluids and blood tests, he's back to his normal self.

3.  I have a new baby niece!  Little sister S had a beautiful baby girl and I got to be the first person to hold her...As I wrote that I just realized how weird it has been to hold new life and watch another end a week apart.

4.  The girls have both gotten in trouble in the last week (social media and car related respectively).  Relatively normal kid stuff, but as with most things the drama was heightened since we are still working out my role as a disciplinarian in their lives and teaching them how to take responsibility for their actions.  It's been draining.

5.  K went to a hematologist at the Virginia Cancer Institute last week.  Turns out his problem isn't a genetic blood clotting disorder.  This is good and bad. Good for the rest of the family and the boys. Bad because a lot of cases of unexplained DVT's in a man his age and health lead to a cancer diagnosis with a year.  The doctor also recommended he stay on the coumadin which is not good.  I know the alternative is worse, being an active 43 year old on blood thinners sucks.  We are trying to figure out what the next steps are.  He's really not talking about it much so I'm treading lightly.

6.  Despite all of this crap (please excuse the language but that's exactly what it's been), we still have lots of fun and joy in this house.  Lots of impromptu cousin play dates.  Baseball and soccer games.  Report cards and first honors (go A!).   Skateboards and prom dresses.

When things start to feel out of control, I try to remember these things.  I close my eyes and try to picture these images.

My family rocks.


  1. My mom sat with my Grammy, holding her hand and talking with her through the end. My mom is TERRIBLE at childbirths, but was utterly BRILLIANT with Grammy and even led other family members to say they hope she's there when they're leaving this world. That said, it sure as heck isn't easy and when you've experienced loss before, it's even harder. I commend you for having the strength to sit with your grandfather and talk to him through the end. Of course he's with Mike and Jeanne and your grandmother. Of course he is. :o)

    New babies! What a blessing and how precious she is!

    Liam? Terrifying!! Young children aren't supposed to get sick like that. Period.

    K and the DVT? I'm SO sorry he's still on coumadin. YUCK! It was lousy stuff around these parts and I was REALLY tired of the coumadin clinic and INR levels. We still don't know what caused B's either. I had no idea it could lead to a cancer diagnosis!! The good news is we're four years out from B's and nothing doing there. Whew!

    I thoroughly enjoyed all the photos and saw one of Bean's favorite BG rides in there. ;o) She gets lost in the shoulder harness, lol!

    There's good and there's bad and well, that's life. Thinking over all your posts through the years, it feels as if you really are finding a way and that you are definitely settling in to this life, even if it IS still trying. There's less confusion (for lack of a better word) and uncertainty when you post about dealing with the girls.

    Oh, before I forget, yay for A on the report card!! :o)

    And, now that I've completely hijacked your comments, I'm off.


  2. Oh yes, dear Peg, your family most certainly ROCKS !

    And sad to hear about L. - must have been scary for the other kids too.

    Take care.

  3. I'm so sorry about your grandfather. He was lucky to have you there. Scary about your son--hope he's feeling better!

  4. I'm sorry for your loss, and proud of your strength. It must feel great to know that you were there for your grandfather at the end.

    Your family is beautiful! Thanks for sharing all of the pics.

    Sorry about L's flu. That must have been so scary! Sorry too that K's health continues to be worrisome.