It seems that in the blink of an eye, my grandfather was taken from me. Even though he was sick for over a month before passing away, I still feel like I never got a grasp on what was happening before it was too late. I couldn't have changed anything about my final days with him because of his awful condition, but I often think about what I could do if I had one more day with him before he was sick or frail. One thing is for sure: I'd spend it wisely. I wouldn't waste a second of this one last day.
If I had one more day with my Pop, I'd make sure we got to start our morning off early, with some orange juice of course, because as he always said, juice always helps you wake up, even when you just don't feel like it. After a big breakfast and watching some PBS Kids shows together (classics, I must admit), I'd want to take one last big trip down memory lane. I'd grab all of my hand-me-down toys out of their attic and play with my favorites all spread out on the floor of the den, the little wooden people, and make sure that Pop was there to help me with planning out a story line and different voices for the different characters.
I'd want to drive around town in the ancient Oldsmobile for about an hour, and listen to him tell the stories he used to tell about all of the familiar streets and his friends that lived on them. I'd want to go to McDonald's and have one last chocolate milkshake together. After leaving, we'd head back home to his house: the place where I made so many beautiful memories with my grandparents as a child. We'd play in the backyard like I was seven years old again, and for a second I'd probably forget that this was the last time. I'd also definitely make him push me around in the wheelbarrow before heading inside for a glass of lemonade and a piece of coffee cake.
Gram would come into the kitchen walking, instead of sitting in a wheelchair as she does today, and we'd all have one big political discussion and make a plan for dinner. Then, we'd gather all of the family we could and head to our favorite Chinese restaurant. After we got home, I'd make sure I turned on a Dick Van Dyke Show DVD, while Pop sat at the left end of the couch and read a book, while making occasional commentary about the episode I was watching.
Bed time would come around, and I'd be sure to help Pop turn off all of the lights before changing into a huge t-shirt and climbing into bed just like I did as a kid. Of course, I wouldn't be able to fall asleep without Pop checking for monsters. Once business was taken care of, I'd let him sneak down the hallway to check on me in the middle of the night one last time, and then I'd say goodbye. I'd get a goodbye in person instead of through the window when he was moved to hospice care. I'd be able to put my arms around his neck and get one last bear hug. One thing's for sure, though, I know I wouldn't miss him any less.
My memories will be enough to last a lifetime, until we are reunited again in Heaven. However, there will always be a huge part of me that will long for one more day, just one more day with him as he was before the illnesses and age. I truly will never stop missing you, Pop, and you have no idea how badly I wish that Heaven had visiting hours.