Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Calling him home

Last night I found out that Adam’s paternal grandfather has terminal cancer.

He was admitted to hospital late last week because of a distended stomach and other complications. Last night, the doctor and surgeons confirmed to the family that the stomach distension is a result of a large cancerous tumour which has masticised into surrounding organs. Surgery is not an option given the size and location of the cancer. Grampa has voluntarily refused any chemo or radiation, preferring to live out his days in relative comfort at home.

I feel numb right now; sitting at work when my head and heart are elsewhere.

Last night was emotional, shattering, as my husband digested the news that he was losing his grandfather. That family is so close, so involved in each other’s lives, that the thought of losing such a prominent link in the chain has left them all shell-shocked and heartbroken.

I was torn between trying to be strong for Adam, and mourning the news myself. Having lost all of my natural grandparents, I’ve adopted Adam’s four grandparents as my own. I’ve spent nearly ten years celebrating birthdays and holidays with them, sharing meals and praying together.

Through all of this, Grampa stands firm in his role as the rock. He’s told everyone that he’s a tough old goat and not to count him out just yet. At the same time, he’s made peace with his diagnosis and is looking forward to going home to heaven and his maker. He’s still laughing and joking, not letting a little news about terminal cancer bring him down. We could all learn something from his attitude and strength in the face of adversity. I love and admire this man all the more for his amazing character and how he’s comforting his family during his hour of need.

Grampa, we may not be family by birth, but we are family through love, through choice. I love you as I did my own grandparents. I see the gifts you have given your family in the values and beliefs they hold dear, in the large family that joins together now to honour and support one of their own. Your legacy will live on through us and through our love. I hope that you know how deeply you’ve touched all of our lives and how blessed we feel to be able to spend some time telling you all of these things before you’re called home. God bless you Grampa. We love you so much.


The W.O.W. factor! said...

Oh~ I am so very sorry about this sad news.
The patriarch of the family, the builder of the foundation and the teacher of life and love...you have all been blessed to share in this Man's "wealth" and I believe you will carry out the values and teachings he has bestowed on you and he will be proud!
I believe that attitude is the key...and I admire Grampa for his!!
May he find comfort and happiness knowing that you are all there to keep the laughter and love flowing around him in the days ahead!
Give Adam a hug for me, and yourself WM....

Anonymous said...

Wow, great writing and I shed a few tears reading this one little sis...an amazing man.

wordmama said...

Thank you both. Grampa is now at home and I'm madly cooking and freezing meals to make sure that they both stay strong. He is an amazing man and so very, very loved.