An article that was supposed to be yet another tale of Disney and relating to my Disney College Program experience has taken a bit of a turn this week. I was going to be telling you all about the first time being back to Disney World after moving back home. A trip I have been so looking forward too has been pushed back a couple of months. Instead, this article is in honor of my Grandpa.
Last week I spent 18 hours in Florida. It was the quickest trip I have ever taken to Florida. What was suppose to be an emotional but exciting week turned into an emotional, sad, yet memorable week. On my second day in Florida, my Grandpa went into cardiac arrest and didn’t have much time left. So many things started crossing my mind. The last time I lost someone this close to me I was 13 and had no clue how to handle my feelings. This time everything was different.
I sprang into “adult mode” and started getting everything together to get me and my Dad home to be with Mom. Dad started making the phone calls to get us home and alleviate some stress of the arrangements for my Mom while I started making all the other plans in my head and a rundown of what would be happening in the days to come. Soon enough I started freaking out. When my Dad left me for a little while I spent a good half hour pacing around doing nothing else. If I stopped I started freaking out. I couldn’t believe he was dying.
My Grandpa was an amazing person. He became friends with everyone he met. He was the life of the party everywhere he went. He was the biggest kid you would have ever met. As my Nana keeps saying “he was truly one of a kind.” It was hard to believe that just days before this he was at a family party looking happy and somewhat healthy. I will never forget the last time I saw him. Just one week before he passed away I went to shovel snow at his house. I went inside to say hello and he was so excited to see me and give me my Christmas gift that had come late. I will never forget how he said he had been feeling great and how my Mother soon yelled at him for being too close to the front door without having any socks on his feet. It may be something so little but I will never forget it. It was a normal visit to my Grandparents house.
My Mom had asked me if I wanted to see him when I got home from Florida. If I wanted her to wait to have his machines shut off. I simply couldn’t do it. The poor man was suffering already, it was time for him to go. It would be too selfish to torture the poor man just to see the shell of a human he once was. To have so many happy memories go away would have crushed me too much. I told her no. I needed him to go when he was ready to go. Sure enough while waiting for my plane home he passed away.
In the hours leading up to this, my heart just went out to my Mom. I felt so bad for her. She spent so much time over the last 10 years taking care of him and keeping him the happy man we all knew and love. He definitely drove her crazy but she put up with the nonsense and made sure he was happy and healthy to keep up with all of us.
In the days leading up to the wake and funeral, I tried not to think so much about the sadness surrounding it. I tried to keep all of the happy memories in my head. This was accurate until I walked no less than 10 feet into the room at the funeral home and broke down into a sobbing puddle that could only be described as messier than the famous Kim Kardashian ugly cry. It was the first time seeing him. The only thought I had was “this just isn’t right.” It was another moment in my life where I can definitely say growing up sucks!
The two days flew by and now that I look back at it I can tell you all one thing I said was true. My Grandpa was an amazing person. The room was packed wall to wall with people. Friends, family, old friends, and people from the neighborhood that knew him and my family that I had not seen in years showed up. It was truly an amazing feeling.If there is anything I can take away from this, it is this much: when you are kind and have a good attitude you will be one of the most loved people in the world. His funeral was truly a testament to that. As much as hearing “how are you?” or “are you okay?” started to drive me insane at the end of each day I started to remember how truly lucky we all were to have so much love and support behind us. Knowing that he is watching over me and would not want me to sit around and wallow in his loss, he would want me and everyone else to live life to the fullest and to never grow up.