My Granddaddy

This is my Granddaddy, and he passed away last Wednesday. I miss him so much already! It's been an exhausting couple of weeks. About 3 weeks ago he got pneumonia and my Grandmother took him to the hospital in Altus. Well about immediately overnight he took a turn for the worst and by 7 am they decided to air flight him up to Baptist Hospital. That was on a Friday, and by Saturday they had put a tube down into his lungs to basically do all the breathing. His infection was pretty bad and the doctor said their was a 40% chance that he would die. On that Friday he also said that even when they put the right amount of medicine in him, he'll get worse the next two days before he could get better. He was in the hospital for 14 days in ICU. It was an extreme roller coaster ride for the family. One day it would be really good news and immediately the next it would be really bad news. I saw around 4 other people die in Icu. There is about 17 of us so we would dominate a whole waiting room but sometimes other families would share a room with us and we would share the updates on each of our loved ones. One family's dad was dying from liver cancer. They were all there just to be by his side before he went. If you know my Grandmother than it's safe to say that she can be compared to Mrs. Clause. She's just so light hearted and always is laughing. There were several older black ladies whose father was in ICU who became my Grandmothers guardian angel. During the last couple of days when we knew he wouldn't make it they would just give my Grandmother the biggest pep talks and would just sooth her soul. About 3 days before he died, the doctor decided to put him in a rotoprone bed.
This crazy looking machine slowly rotates you around so your infection can move around and not settle. Apparently the fluid in your lungs can harden like cement if you don't keep moving. That Sunday we were so excited that maybe there was a chance. We also knew it was a last resort but surly God had sent us an answer, a hope! My parents only live about 45 minutes away so my poor dad would get up every morning and get my grandmother over to the hospital when ICU opened. It's cool because when you have a loved one in ICU you can call all hours of the night/ day and just give the nurse a password and she'll tell you how he's doing. Also being in the hospital for days and days will emotionally drain you, even just sitting there! Anyhoo, everyone decided to sleep in on Monday and get some rest and get caught up on work. My grandmother called over about 3 times to check in on him and every time he was doing fine. That day was my parents 30th anniversary so my brother and I were going to stay at the hospital with my grandmother while my parents went out on a date. I knew my parents were on their way to the hospital about 5ish so I decided to go on up there. I went into ICU and he was still on the rotoprone bed. While in the bed he is knocked out and has a paralytic so he has no idea we are there. Our favorite nurse came up to me and asked me if I had talked to my grandmother that day. I said yes, about 3 times actually. I knew their was something wrong by the tone in her voice. She then said, we'll actually he's getting worse." What?! I thought this was suppose to help him? She said I know, but his vitals are bad and both lungs are about full now. There is nothing we can do. About that time I ran out of ICU and saw my brother getting off the elevator. I checked my phone and already had two missed calls from my parents so I knew that they already knew. I found the family and everyone was in tears. It's hard seeing your dad so sad. They decided to keep him in the bed until Tuesday morning. They asked us if we wanted him to be moved off the bed and back in his normal bed. We all said yes, but knew that their was a huge chance he wouldn't make it from the move. Everytime he was on his back his oxygen would shoot down below the 70's. Apparently that is a really bad number. The last day on the rotoprone bed they were only able to keep him on his side basically because it got so bad. The whole family came up, minus my little cousins, and we all waiting in the hall outside of ICU. It was the longest 10 minutes of my life. Sure enough when they moved him his vitals were actually better than on the rotoprone bed and he was doing good! Praise God! We all knew he was going to go but I think God was giving us some more time with him. All day Tuesday we hung up there just being with him. It's funny because in ICU they have strict rules. Only 2 people at a time in a room and there were specific hours during the day and night that nobody could be in there. Those last couple of days the nurses let our family do whatever we wanted. They even put more chairs in his room for us as well! Usually they make the family go home at 10:30 when Icu closes for the night so the family can get some sleep, but they let my grandmother stay up there with him. They rolled in a nice recliner chair and she put it right next to his bed and held his hand all night long. She said about 3 in the morning the nurse came in to do some things and my grandmother saw a tear run down his cheek. She figured it was just probably something from his eye since he's had so many bad eye problems but it still broke her heart. She knew she couldn't keep him here and suffering any more. Wednesday morning my brother and dad got up there because we all figured he might hang on for another day at least since he's such a fighter. They decided to get him off his blood pressure medicine and they lowered his oxygen so he could go on his own. About 9:45 Wednesday, August the 4th he passed away. My dad said he went very peacefully and that's what we had been praying for! I got the call and rushed up there to meet my dad, brother, and grandmother in the waiting room. The nurses cleaned him up and then said we could go back in. I don't know what I was thinking but the second I walking in the room he looked like a completely different person. It was almost haunting. I didn't realize how quickly you loose your color right after you die. It was so hard for me to see that. It wasn't until I saw him in the casket looking much more like himself that I got some peace about it all. We stayed up there for a couple hours until the whole family arrived. We decided on the funeral date and then everyone packed up to head down to Tipton. We decided to get there late so nobody could try to come over and visit. By Thursday and Friday tons of people had come by and the phone rang off the hook. It was exhausting! I know people want to show their love and support, but wait and visit after the funeral when the person's family has left and they are lonely. My grandmother kept putting on her happy, jolly front but I knew she would soon wear down. The funeral was beautiful and I felt so honored to have been his granddaughter. We all stayed until Sunday night and my aunt has been with her this whole week. We will be heading down there a lot for these next couple of months to be with her. When I woke up on Monday it really hit me that he was gone. I can go on with my daily routines but when I have down time or I am not distracted I'll just feel the heart break inside of me and get this pain in my stomach. I can't even imagine what my aunts and dad are going through, much less my grandmother! Death is a hard thing to understand but it really gives me comfort knowing where he is and that we will all see him soon!