For Pops

October 4, 2012
By , Woodbridge, VA

It was a dreary day in September and I was sitting on the couch watching television when my father broke the news to me that my grandfather had been diagnosed with stage one esophagus cancer. My father never cry’s but this is one of the first times I saw him shed some tears. When I saw my father cry it made me cry and when I cried my mom cried. I was so sad and bummed I didn’t do anything for the rest of the day. I felt like the world was coming to an end and there was nothing I could do about it.

It was just a terrible day for my whole family, and on top of that I was failing math. So to this day nothing has changed. My parent’s patients were wearing thin with me and my sister acting up at home. We couldn’t help it because we were all under stress. I think everyone in my family was going through their own problems. I know I was and still am struggling with my grades and just trying to have everything go right in my life. I’m busy trying to please my parents and am not finding any time to practice soccer. On top of that I have my Grandfather fighting cancer with all his strength every day.

My grandfather is 85 years old and still acts like he is in his 30’s. He flirts with all the pretty women at his retirement center and all the women in the rehabilitation center. My grandfather Dale has one of the best personalities a person could have. He is always trying to make someone smile or laugh. I will always cherish the moments I have had with him. Some of the best times of my life are spent with family. My grandfather is so good to me and my sister always sending us stuff and caring about us.
I just wish I knew the cure for cancer so I could save my grandfather and millions of other people. I pray every day and every night that my grandfather can have a speedy recovery and fight off the cancer. He’s strong willed and won’t give up without a fight. He knows everyone is rooting for him and doing everything they can do to make him happy. My family bought him a bunch of presents for him for Christmas and got him several bags of hard candies.

My grandfather’s sickness has taken its toll on him and everyone that knows him. It’s not just hurting us but his other two sons and his daughter. One of my uncles is going through a tuff time in his life right now and he realized he didn’t want to end up like him in a hospital or nursing home alone. My grandfather’s wife had died a few years ago and his ex wife my dad’s mom died about 20 years ago so he has no one. He only has us family to be there for him. It’s hard to be there for him when we live like 13 or so hours away from him.
It has made me emotional seeing people in my family being sick and not knowing how much longer they have to be alive. I get these feelings in my stomach that makes me want to throw up. I can’t think about my grandfather without having my eyes well up or having uneasy thoughts. My dad is always worrying about his dad and calls him every night just to talk to him. We all love him dearly and would be crushed if he passed away.
My family and I took a long drive down to central Florida this Thanksgiving just to be with him. It was such a joyous time for everyone. He was the happiest person in the whole state of Florida that week. We ate with him for a Thanksgiving lunch in a room for special event. A lot of people came to be with their families on Thanksgiving. After we were done eating we took my grandfather out to a pier to see the wildlife. He likes to see all the animals and enjoys feeding the bird’s everyday when he is healthy. We got to see a 6 foot alligator about 10 types of bird’s we don’t see up here in Woodbridge. Then we took him up to his apartment to look around for the first time besides my dad. He also wanted to check his mail and phone messages.
That’s not the only stuff we did with him. We took him out again the next day to have a picnic out in the sun for a while. When we were finished we went over to the pier again overlooking the pond and feed the fish and turtles our scraps from lunch. It was pretty warm outside so we walked around for a while pushing him around. I found another pier that was on the lake less than 100 yards away from the pond. So my dad pushed his dad out onto the pier and we followed them out. It was a beautiful day and time was flying by like nothing. My grandfather wanted to go back up to his apartment again so we took him up there for a drink.
Since my grandfather has nothing to do when he’s at home he has to have everything perfect. If you move something it must go back the way it was. We saw him again the next day for a little bit and then went to Orlando Florida to go to an airboat ride place. They took us out to look for alligators and birds. When we got back we ate at the restaurant and ate all different types of alligator. My sister and I went to go take a picture holding a baby alligator. Also we got to watch some smaller sized alligators eat chicken bones and all.
My dad was missing his dad more and didn’t want him to be alone for Christmas so he told us that he was going to visit him. I immediately asked if I could go with him to see his dad. He said sure why not. I was excited to be able to see my grandfather again. This time my grandfather didn’t know we were coming down, so it was a surprise. We left so we would be there on Christmas Eve. When we got down there we dropped our stuff off at the hotel and watched a little football while relaxing. We decided to go over and call him once we got to the rehab center. There were people in his room visiting him and we waited for them to leave.
They left and we called his room and he said can I call you later because I’m going to go eat. So we walked in on the phone with him and he thought he was seeing things when he saw us. He kept looking at the phone then us and was confused. He was in shock but it was a good shock. We hung out with him for a while then went to go get food and back to the hotel. It was weird having a Christmas away from home because it was my first. Not to mention it was 88 degrees and were used to 35. My dad and I ate a Christmas lunch with him then took him out like we did on Thanksgiving. It made him the happiest once again. We made his Christmas and it made mine getting to see him. He said it was the best medicine getting to see his son and grandson. He was told that he could go home a few days after we got back home. He was able to go home and right now he is doing pretty well at home.

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