its just the way it is. i leave, and someone gets sick or someone dies. i remember when i went to field camp the first time, dean pace died. the second time, it was frank sinatra. not that i knew him, but i'll never forget that he died while i was gone to field camp the second time. so this vacation was no different. about halfway through our florida trip i get a text message from kate (or mom, can't remember which) letting me know that granddaddy (dad's dad) had pneumonia and was in the franklin regional and uncle butch (dad's brother) had a collapsed lung and was at wake med. we've already experienced the collapsed lung before last year with granddaddy. so i wasn't really that worried about uncle butch. he has emphysema but other than that he seems healthy as an ox so i figure he'd be ok. granddaddy was not well when we left but it was because he had fallen down a couple of times so i didn't know he had any sort of respiratory illness. the week we left began his time with a sit-in nurse three days a week and dad sat with him the other two days because he wasn't safe all alone anymore. so now days have past and granddaddy's condition has worsened because he is not responding to antibiotics and now he also has been infected with a MRSA infection. uncle butch was supposed to have a surgery but it was postponed because of something that happened last night. i'm not sure what but they said it was his heart. either way the surgery will happen tomorrow and he's having half of one of his lungs removed. granddaddy will be moved to a local nursing home tomorrow. he likely will not survive this but i do not want to count him out yet. he comes from a long line of long-livers (his mom lived to be 102) and i just know he has some fight left in him. considering he's smoked his whole life except for a brief spell after his collapsed lung, he's way outlived his life expectancy. prior to the pneumonia (and MRSA) he was healthy as can be though miserable being alive. he can't see and he can't hear, and since my grandma died he just hasn't much to live for. his children visit all the time and i know he likes their company. i unfortunately do not visit him often though he is only 25 minutes away, but it is because it is sad to see him because he just tells me how there is nothing to do and nothing to see and he looks outside all the time. last time we went kendal sat in his lap (because kendal wanted to) and babbled to him. he is so old. he has only one real eye and that one hardly works as it is. i bet he only sees shadows. he only knows things from memories and if he had to live in a nursing home he'd never leave his bed. next they'd start pumping the same drugs into him that they do every other old person in the place that doesn't like to move and then they'll stop moving at all. it is always sad to see people in a nursing home like that. i understand why he'd hate it, it is all the wrong smells, cold, the wrong sounds and fabrics. he won't be able to smoke. dad won't be able to take him a piece of venison or a piece of banana cake to nibble on all day. in the nursing homes, you can't have food sitting around. so i know the bad part is that if he gets better, he'll be living in a nursing home. i hate that for him. but, i also know it is for the best. i hope he gets better. i just can't count him out. i want him to live obviously because he is my last granddaddy. he is my dad's only dad. and i can't imagine loosing my dad, no matter how sick or old he is, a person cannot be prepared to loose their father. i want him to live and be healthy and mobile and happy. not that it is my decision to make. i suppose i just pray that whatever is in THE plan for him that it is done as peacefully as possible, and in the mean time for the rest of us here with him or left behind are also comforted. especially those who are still in the hospital and can't even participate in anything. it just doesn't seem like the right time for him to go, not that i know what is right. i just hope that uncle butch will get well and home and so will granddaddy, and that the whole death thing can be explored at another time. just seems like everyone should have a little more fight left in them... on the other hand, i bet he is ready to see grandma. or, to simply SEE. two definite benefits of being in heaven.
i know this is a funny picture to post, but kendal wore a similar shaped hat all day today. funny that all day it reminded me of this picture. it is from dec. 1975 of my granddaddy.