Monday, August 04, 2008

How do you prepare to say goodbye?

This is a really hard post for me. But I am hoping that by typing it out and getting it off my chest, maybe I can start to deal with it.

To give some background first:

I never grew up with a dad. My biological father left my mom when she was pregnant with me. I found out just a few years ago that he is 100% mentally disabled according to the government in relation to his service in Vietnam..so I understand now.

But I didn't know that as a child.

I grew up feeling abandoned by my father and wondering what was so wrong with me that he didn't want anything to do with me.

My mom-she is wonderful. I couldn't have asked for a better relationship with a parent. We lived in California until I was 16. When all the other kids were sneaking out, drinking, partying etc...I wasn't. My mom knew that she could utterly trust me to be a good person...and I was.


This brings me to my hard part.


The only real father figure I had growing up was my grandpa. He was always there for me. my grandparents were always there and helped to raise me. The closeness we have is wonderful. Even knowing my real dad now, my grandpa WAS for all intents and purposes my dad growing up.


A few years ago, my grandfather had a stroke. My grandma didn't take him in until the next day and as a result, he did not get TPA which could have helped to reverse some of the affects.

Following his stroke, he really struggled. He is a very proud man. He had a hard time walking and talking clearly. He recognized that his body failed him and he gave up. He just seemed to throw his hands in the air and decided that life was not worth living anymore.

He started smoking again. He stopped doing fun stuff. He mopes around.

For 2 years he has done this...and now-he is having strokes again and they don't know how much longer he has left.


How do I prepare to say goodbye to this wonderful wonderful man who was my father growing up? The man that I admire so much and look up to and love so deeply?


I am 2 hours away. and all I want is to be there with them. To help my grandma take care of him as his body fails and he looses control of his functions. To be there to hold her when she cries and to hug him as he accepts what is coming.


I don't know that I can do this.


Just days after his first stroke:


Please Heavenly Father, please make his time left here good. Let him be free of pain. Let him have some joy. Let me have just one more time at least to see him and put my arms around him and let him know how much I love him.
And please bless my grandma-that she will have the strength to physically and emotionally deal with all that is coming.
In Jesus name I pray, Amen.