Saturday, July 5, 2014

Bouncing Back

I never feel like a vacation is truly over until I've made a trip to the commissary aka grocery store. I suppose I can tag on washing the laundry and getting a couple good sleeps in my own bed. That is when things start to feel normal again. I can proudly report, I have accomplished all three. So I guess that means my vacation is officially over!

The term vacation should be used very loosely. We actually made the trip back to Iowa unexpectedly due to a family emergency. My grandfather had a major stroke in mid June. After about a week, the doctor's did not give a good prognosis. The family choose to move him to hospice and provide him with comfort care in his final days. My husband, the kids and I left  for Iowa immediately to say our goodbyes. Not a great reason for a cross country road trip and mini-summer vacay but this story has a very encouraging ending.

The first few days after our arrival were super emotional. We tried so hard to wrap our brains and hearts around what was happening. It just didn't feel right. Grandpa is the rock, the glue that holds our family together. I think our family had this idea he would live to a very old age and pass peacefully in his sleep. What a rude awakening to realize things don't always go the way you thought they would or even hoped they would. In the past several years, I have learned more about life through death than through living. Foremost, I have realized never take anything for granted. Never.

Four generations.

In those days of waiting, all of our extended family came together. The first time in a decade everyone was together except for my cousin's husband and children who remained in Texas. We spent hours and hours in my grandpa's small hospital room. We took breaks for lunch and dinner together. We spent time until the wee hours of the night catching up on life. We cried and laughed. We were just trying to cope and process everything that was happening.


Then one morning we went to the hospital and everything had changed. Grandpa had been able to swallow two drops of water. A body function he hadn't been capable of only days prior. It was only the beginning. For the remainder of our time there, my grandfather soon began to lift and drink from his own cup. He sat on the edge of his bed. He began communicating with a couple simple words. He started eating food. How amazing is that? The doctor's said he would never be able to do anything. Only four day later he was reviving. By the end of the week, I felt comfortable leaving. I knew grandpa would be ok. He figured out what needed to be done and he did it.

I sure miss the luxury of dropping by the hospital whenever a spare moment presents itself. With an entire summer off, I have a lot of those spare moments I would like to be keeping company in that hospital room. This is where military life flexes its muscle. My husband will be leaving soon for a short "trip". I decided to hang with him before he departs. I know grandpa is in good hands but it's still hard to be so far away.

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  1. I am so sorry that you had to travel for such tough reasons but it sounds like your grandpa is an amazingly strong man!

  2. Glad he is getting better! I know he loved having y'all visit, I'm sure!

  3. I'm glad he is doing better. I know how hard it can be especially when you have no control to just be there at all times.

  4. Wow! What an amazing recovery! I'm so glad that you're grandpa is doing better!