Cancer

My grandfather was wonderful-always there for birthdays, never a harsh word or anything.  He drove half across the country to do our birthdays a few times when we lived in houston, texas.  And he always had a present for everyone.  He was the one who taught me to ride a bike, and overall-he made me feel loved at all times.  NEVER would I believe that he would leave my life so suddenly-or so soon.

I got a call from my dad.  I was living in kansas, and in college.  I was married, with one child.  I couldn't believe it.  My grandfather, who had quit smoking TEN years before, had cancer.  Lung.  And it was serious.  Of course, my dad downplayed it, but lung cancer is never a good thing.  I just went home and cried.  I finished that semester, and moved my family back home to missouri to be with my grandfather.  I didn't want to miss his last months, if that's what they were. 

I got home, and he looked healthy.  Indeed, for years he was the healthiest person I knew.  He walked on a treadmill five days of the week.  He didn't smoke, or eat foods high in fat or sugar.  He just was so healthy.  But he wasn't.  His doctor said basically to go home and die.  But he wouldn't give up.  He got another doctor, and fought for his life.

Gradually, he lost weight.  He couldn't breathe.  I took for granted that he was there.  I assumed he would win the fight against the cancer.  I couldn't imagine life without him. 

That summer, he took the entire family to mountain home arkansas, on a vacation.  I will never forget that trip as long as I live.  We tried to have fun, but I couldn't help but be sad he couldn't be on any of our outings-he couldn't get around.  So we went home a few days later.

He lost weight.  And eventually, he was on oxygen.  Then, one day-I was at home, and my mom called.  She said it was time.  That he was in the hospital with pneumonia.  That this was probably it-he was going to die.  I cried, and hung up.  I then got my daughter to bed-she was under two.  Then, I drank until I passed out.  Which isn't like me-I don't drink.  When I got up the next morning, I got a call from my dad saying it happened.  He died overnight.  I heard those words, but didn't understand-or couldn't- make my heart understand.  I just know that when the funeral happened a few days later, I walked in.  I was wearing a dress grandpa said looked wonderful on me.  I saw him there, and lost it. 

It was real.  He was dead.  Gone.  Never again would I talk to him.  And bottom line, I could never hug him.  Or show him how much I loved him.  I should have known, since he had cancer, that it was then or never, to show him.  But I just thought he would live.  But he didn't.   And I will never be able to make that up.  I know he loved me.  And I know he knew I loved him.  Love him.  But darn, I guess they always say that no matter what, you will always see things you could have done better.  Different.  And its true. 

I miss him every day of my life  I have had two boys since he died, and it saddens me that they will never meet him.  And he will never be able to play catch with them.  Or take them to mcdonalds.  He is just gone. 

It's been ten years-he died november 11th, 1998.  And of course, over time, the pain is less intense.  And less often.  But it never goes away.  I will always remember him, and it will make me happy-and sad, as well, since I will always love and miss him. 

Thanks for listening.  I cried all through this, and I thought all those tears were dried up.  Silly me.  Thanks again-I don't feel so alone. 

celestegood2004 celestegood2004
31-35, F
1 Response Mar 14, 2009

OMG... I cried while reading your story. I just recently lost my grandpa to lung cancer too. So i know how you feel. <br />
And yes, he made me feel loved all the time too. I am so regretting that i didn't finish my college when i know he was sick. I did got the chance to take care of him but in the end he passed away on 26th January 2009.<br />
Sometimes, deep down i still wish that he could fight his disease. I wish that he could see me when i got married, in the future.<br />
I will always love you grandpa... Forever and always...