Monday, April 6, 2015

Roller Coaster- part 2

This post was started months and months and months ago. It is a post about a day I don't want to relive, yet I don't want to forget it.

The original plan was pick them up Christmas morning and take them out to our house for a few hours so they could see Kinley open presents and spend time with family. Since Pa had been feeling under the weather that obviously wasn't going to be the plan anymore. After church on Christmas Eve, we took Miss Kinley by to see Nandy and Pa. She looked too cute all dolled up not to make a visit and we usually spend Christmas Eve celebrating with them. Pa was excited to see her. He did his typical doting over her and quizzing me about "Junior" as he calls Brother Bear. He seemed tired but was also taking pain meds to help with his pain. The nurses and staff did not seem concerned about how he was doing especially since he had recently had 7 liters of fluid drained from his belly.

We visited a bit and then headed home. Since we are moved into the new place, we had my dad and the in-laws over to our house for Christmas. It was nice not having to travel... I could get used to that! There is just something you know about getting a phone call early in the morning. When I rolled over at 6 a.m. and saw it was the nursing home, I knew something wasn't right. The nurse said they went in to do their regular morning routine and Pa just wasn't very responsive. When I asked about Nandy, they told me that she just reached out from her bed to grab a hold of one of their hands as if she knew something wasn't right. 

I got out of bed and put some clothes on then went upstairs to wake my dad and tell my in-laws we would be venturing out so they could listen for Kinley to wake. Hubby went but insisted on coming home sooner so he would be home when Kinley woke up. I spoke with the hospice nurse, who did not know if he would make it through the day. I spent some time calling my aunt, who then called my cousins. I'm not sure what time they got on the road but they were visiting by one-ish. I also tried to get a hold of my Brother, who come to find out had left the country.

My Dad and I stayed for a while then came home to shower and do Christmas. I felt bad leaving but also knew that Pa would want Kinley to have her Christmas time. After presents and showers, Dad and I went back to visit. When we walked in, Aunt Violet (Pa's sister) and her daughter were there along with my cousin and her daughter. We all stayed and chatted for a while but then it became time to eat again. My in-laws had brought over a lasagna so I invited my cousins out to eat it. I felt compelled to see if Nandy wanted to go with us but also didn't want it to seem like I was abandoning my Pa. The girls at the nursing home thought it would be nice for Nandy to get out. We all talked to Pa before we left. I told him that we were going to take Nandy out to eat so he could rest.

We weren't gone 30 minutes when the nurse called to say he had passed. He has always been one to want to do things on his own and this was no different. He didn't want his girlfriend or family there so he waited. Secretly, I think he was probably thinking, "I wish you guys would get the hell out of here! I've got things to do and people to catch up with!"

And now, I have the job of returning to the kitchen table and telling Nandy. How the heck do you tell your grandma that?! How will she respond? What about the other family siting there? This is a terrible gig. Who signed me up for this? 

Bless dementia's heart. I see it as a blessing and a curse. It is far enough progressed for Nandy that when I told her that Pa had passed away, she just looked at me, surprised and a little concerned, and said, "What? What happened?" I told her that his body was tired and now he was no longer sick or in pain and that when she was ready we would go back to the nursing home. And that was her response so a few minutes later, we all (me, my dad, and cousins) loaded back into our cars and went back.

I love my Pa dearly but I am not a fan of seeing people that have passed away, yet, I would have sat with my Nandy if she had wanted me to. Instead, we sat in the lobby. Shortly after, my aunt, uncle and other cousin arrived. It's such a crap feeling knowing that the funniest, wittiest and most loving guy that tied your whole family together is no longer with you on Earth. We chatted and waited for the funeral home's transport to come pick up Pa.

6 short weeks earlier, I sat in the same parking lot crying that I was leaving both of my grandparents in a nursing home. Now I sit crying that I am leaving my Nandy there without Pa. I am very thankful that my dad is so caring and was willing to stay with Nandy for several days and nights. I just didn't want Nandy to be alone. I was going to stay with them but he insisted I take my pregnant self home. {I must say that he felt very comfortable there. He would meet me the front door in his socks. I asked one of the nurses if he could move in and be a live in visitor to all the sweet old people.}

As I said before, a day I don't want to relive but one I don't want to forget.

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