Always Remembered.

October 21, 2010
My grandfather, John, has been sick for about a year now. He has been diagnosed with brain cancer, breast cancer, and non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. For most of the time he had been sick, he lived at home with me, Carson(granddaughter), and daughter, Tyler(my mom), visiting him often and checking up on him. One time my mom went to his house one weekend when I was at my dad’s house and my mom went to his house to see her my grandpa on the floor…he had a seizure.

During the summer of 2009, my mom and I took in my grandpa to take care of him. We were told he has about a year to live, so of course I didn’t want to hear that. He had a seizure during June and it was heartwhrenching, it was so scary! But since that seizure, I wasn’t able to do much because my mom wasn’t able to take me places because my mom had to make sure my grandpa didn’t get out of his bed. At this point he had been very sick and forgetful. He would forget where he was, forget who his daughter, son, and grandchildren were. He’d call us by different names sometimes. It was so hard for me to see him like this, I hated going into my papa’s room to not see my normal grandpa, who used to take me to the zoo, to build-a-bear, ice-skating, and anywhere I asked! But when I did go in there I had to hold back my tears and look into my sick, dying, Alzheimer’s grandfathers eyes and talk to him normal and try to not cry.

When I was little he’d always tell me “it’s a beautiful wonderful day!” and I’d say it right back. It would always make me smile. That’s why it was so hard to talk to him when he was like this. I would say “Hi papa!” and he would say “well hi little Mary!” (he called me little Mary because my mom’s first name was Mary and I look just like her) and I would ask him “How are you papa?” and he would of course reply “Oh I’m good, I’m good!” and then I would say “Well I love you. I’m going to go do homework now.” And I would leave the room. I will admit, I did get annoyed with him because he would rarely ever sleep and he would try to take down the bed rails he had, and my mom would get so frustrated. I hope this doesn’t sound bad, but I wish his suffering would just end, I hated him to be so sad and in pain.

During the month of January, papa was getting worse. It was so painful to my mom and I, even my dad was sad about this. It was so weird going to school, knowing your grandfather is very ill and dying…it was always on my mind. I will say that I was depressed during this time. I didn’t talk much, and usually I’m the loudest one. I tried to act normal and shove my feelings inside and not talk about it, because I’m more like a “suffer in silence” type. I always TRIED to help around the house with my mom, but I didn’t do a good job at that. I wish I would’ve done a better job with helping and coping with my grandfather.

When February 1st came, it was an ok day. Papa was the same as he was yesterday, did the same stuff as he did yesterday, he was fine. But when February 2nd ,2010 came, it was a Tuesday and I went to school like normal…but papa’s door was shut and my uncle was over at the house, but I thought nothing of it. I decided to go to the swim meet that day and while I was there, I was timing the swimmers. I got a text message from my godfather saying “I’m sorry to hear about your grandpa.” , my aunt tried to shut my phone before I read that message, but I had already seen the text. I wasn’t supposed to know my grandfather had died already at 2am. My heart sank. I asked my aunt “Is he…dead?” and my aunt replied “yes.” I lost my breath, she asked “are you going to be ok?” and I lied “yeah I’m going to be ok.” And then the tears just started pouring out like a waterfall. My aunt told me “Go to the bathroom.” So I got up and ran to the bathroom, people kept asking why I was crying and what happened and am I okay. I was holding on to my best friend and I had about 10 friends in the locker room with me. When I caught my breath I was able to get out “Papa’s dead.” And when they heard that they all just gasped and hugged me, because they knew how much he meant to me.

When I got to my house my godmother told me not to hold anything in and to just let it out. I didn’t. I went to school the next day and I had to show a note excusing me from my work and when I showed my teachers I started crying. At my grandfather’s viewing, when my mom, my uncle, my cousin, and me were leaving I regret not going and looking at him one last time. I was the one who cried the most. And ever since December, I haven’t been able to give 100% of my concentration into my work. Whoever made up “Time heals wounds”, that’s a lie…it never heals, the pain will just become more bearable. I will always miss my grandpa no matter what anyone says. I know he’s in a better place now, and I love him so much! R.I.P John Herman Jongebloed Sr.

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