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A few words in memory of my Grandfather…

by on November 23, 2012

I’m taking a day for a personal reflection, so bear with me.

This week in the US, families are traditionally gathering, to celebrate all of the blessings they have in their lives. They are sharing the things that they are thankful for, and enjoying each others company. Many spend Thanksgiving Day sharing memories and laughs over an oversized turkey dinner, and then follow it up with a nightlong shopping extravaganza. That was my plan for this year, however, things didn’t quite work out that way.

On Monday night my Grandfather was taken to the hospital. He had severe diabetes related to his time in the military, and his nurse had noticed his feet were turning blue. When the doctor checked him out, he was honest with us; both feet all the way to above the knees had to be removed. Grandpa took it stoically, and even terrified of the prospect of having his limbs cut away, he spent the day Wednesday laughing and joking with his family.

It was a moment in time that I will cherish. A room full of his children and grandchildren, laughing and teasing, throwing pillows back and forth, and arguing over a back scratcher. I wouldn’t give up that moment for anything. It was a chance to see him as the amazingly strong man he was before he grew so sick and frail.

That laughing teasing man, was the one I watched a nurse wheel behind the operating room door. Fear in his eyes, but a smile on his face. For hours we waited, nervously praying for good news. The chances of him surviving were slim, but somehow he made it through. The doctor was optimistic that he did so well in surgery, so we proceeded with Thanksgiving the next morning. We were able to have our large turkey dinner, and family time. I even made it shopping until almost midnight.

At midnight we got a call that his blood pressure dropped. It was in that moment that my heart dropped from my chest. Like someone pulled it between the bones of my ribs without giving me a chance to protest. He weakened over the next several hours, but we still prayed. My friends prayed with me, across the globe. People I’ve never met before messaged me with positive afirmations, and encouragement.

The Grandfather that I remember was over 6ft tall, and was a large imposing figure. He had a booming voice, and a quick laugh. That wasn’t who I spent this morning with. At 5:33 am on November 23, 2012, I was holding his hand as he died. He was a warrior through to the bone, and I honestly believe that he couldn’t face the prospect of a life without his legs. He died with dignity, and grace. He reminded me that every day is precious, and you never know how long you have left. He left a whole in my heart that will never heal completely, but I look forward to receiving a bear hug from him when we meet again.

On behalf of my Grandfather, please remember to Live, Laugh, and Love like today is your ONLY chance~Lori

The hole in my soul,

Is gaping wide,

Open to the world,

I’m unable to hide.

I feel every ripple

Of anger and heartache,

I find myself crying,

Grieving for my own sake.

I want to understand,

I want to let go,

Instead I find myself,

Struggling to keep hold.

Digging my  fingers in,

Holding on tight.

Refusing to step away,

To let you out of my sight.

Now the nerves are exposed,

To the world as a whole,

And my heart’s ripped apart,

And there’s a hole in my soul.

~Lori King~

11-23-12

 

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3 Comments
  1. Cherie Clark permalink

    Lori I would think from what i read of you taht some of that warrior spirit has passed to you. Such lovely words to share with us. hugs to you and yours.

  2. What a beautiful tribute to your Grandfather, Lori. Thoughts and prayers to you and your family.

  3. I am so sorry for your loss Lori….he is watching over you now…..your guardian angel

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