He spent 88 amazing years on earth with five kids and 10 grand kids and 13 great grand kids. That's a pretty amazing life. During those 88 years, he fought against our nations enemies, made some pretty fantastic milkshakes, played a decent game of golf and enjoyed good BBQ.
He came to Will's fifth birthday party and I remember watching him watch Will for a brief moment. He looked at Will with a look of amazement. I know that look as I catch us doing it. He printed off every single blog post and without fail always told me that he was very proud of us.
He suffered for four days and passed peacefully surrounded by people who love him. I spent a portion of each day with my mom at the hospital waiting room. It was perhaps one of the hardest things I've done in a while.
I have been lucky enough to only attend funerals of the "old" - granted some were deaths that were not expected, but they had a good long life and were surrounded by their children, friends and family. I can't help but feel as though these types of deaths are really celebrations.
I celebrated my grandpas life. I will miss him and I am sad for my mom, but mostly, I am happy for him. His suffering was nominal, his life long and plentiful. He's in heaven, probably already playing golf and catching up with his good friends about a fishing trip that ended with him pushing the boat out of the mud. (one of my favorites)
My aunts and uncle had to make a choice for my grandpa and his future. THE CHOICE. In retrospect, it probably wasn't really a choice, it was obvious, but there is so much emotion behind that it's hard to distinguish. I have often thought about the choices we make for Will's health every day. They are easy ones right now. Sometimes complicated or complex, but for the post part, easy. It's been a weird paradox of being "in the moment" with my mom and extended family and then someone starts talking about a child's funeral they went to and switching back to my life and thinking about how I would handle this for Will.
I keep trying to find the word for experiencing joy, grief, hope and sadness in a single emotion, one single second of feeling. I grieve for my son, I have hope that we saving him, I see him smile and am filled with joy and I see him work so hard to accomplish something and I am sad, but proud. It really messes with your head.
The past four days I have just reminded myself that right now, we're in the "everything in between" stage of life and death and to let the "what if scenarios" about Will's health pass without too much thought. I don't know if I will ever be able think about others without it getting tangled up in emotion about Will.
Maybe that's okay, maybe it's not. But it is what it is.
I brought Will with me during the weekend visit (thank goodness Uncle Tommy was there to distract him). Will and I talked a lot about dying, heaven and God on the way there. I told him that Papa Holmes was going to heaven soon. He said, "YES! Heaven is awesome!" All I could do was agree.