Grandpa, Nonno, Poppop

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You know that guy who held you as a baby? That man who went to every sporting game and recital that you had? You know him very well, because he’s the one that bounced you on his knee as a baby and made you laugh. He’s the man who wishes the best for you no matter what. He is your Grandfather, Nonno, Poppop, Pa, Gramps, whatever you call him by it doesn’t matter, he’s still the same man whom you love.

He’s the one who has always been there, so have you ever thought of life without him? No. In your mind he’s at your wedding, he’s there to hold your first child, but he is much older than you. He will most likely pass before you, so you need to hear that he will pass on, he will die, and you will not be able to give him hugs like you normally would. For some of us this will come sooner than you ever expected. For some of us, we won’t know about it, and then there are the others who will know long before and still be unable to accept it.

I know my Poppop is going to die. I know he will be lucky to make it to the next month, but still I cannot think of a day without him. He’s already lived well past the estimated time for his body and his lung disease won’t give him more time. Therefore, when he collapsed, I should not have been shocked. Even when the ambulance came and took him to the hospital during Hurricane Irene, I expected him to be back in a few hours. A day went by and still I expected him to come home soon. Sadly, now I know he may never get out of the hospital. He may never make it to rehab. He may never see his friends before he passes on. He is lonely with no one to talk to and help him through this. He knows he will die soon, but he just cannot say it. He sees the doctors trying to save him, but he knows they just can’t. He will die. I know that his death will be long and painful. His lungs will fill with fluid that his body made and they will be unable to function properly. Then, it will feel like hands are wrapping around his throat and squeezing.

I wish I could save him. I wish I could stop what was happening right this second, but I can’t stop life. So take the time to listen to their stories. Let them be annoying if even for just one more moment, because one day they won’t be there. One day you will be standing over their coffin saying prayers. Just do not push them aside, because they need you more than you think. They need your comfort in their old age. They need your support, because they are scared. Yea, he’s scared and I can’t do anything to help him. I can’t stop it, but he needs you as much as you need him, so don’t leave him alone.





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