We we're meant to leave early Saturday morning to see my Grandad who is in hospital, he has cancer and now has liver failure and only 4 months to live. He asked to see me so my Mum and Dad drove me up Saturday morning so we could be with him by the afternoon. We called my Nanny to make sure it was still OK she said Granddad's Sisters are coming up (he never liked them) and it might be a bit much all at once could we come on Sunday we said yes. Then we decided that we need to go now even if we couldn't see him for long. We arranged with my Nanny to stay at her bungalow because she was staying at the hospital. That on the Saturday we would just pick up the key to their home and see him on the Sunday.
So off we went just the three of us, strange because when I was little we always went on holidays in this country we went to Butlins when I was really small, as I got old we got a caravan and would go to Dorset and Cornwall so the drive brought back happy memories for us all. It was so nice but sort of unreal.
We finally arrived at Dorset County Hospital which is huge, but a beautiful building and so still and quiet. My Dad already bee up on Thursday so knew where the room was and what to expect. I had been warned by my eldest Sister and my Boyfriend that he would look different. My Grandad a huge man over 6 feet tall with size 12 shoes, in my mind I always see him as the man that played squash with my Dad every Saturday. As we got to his room it had a large window and all you could see was a room was filled with people. Slowly people came out to let us in. I had to take a breath and hold back tears. My giant strong Grandad looked so little and tired. He was so thin, he had his pajama top open as it was so hot, he had no muscle left in his arms or chest and he looked exhausted. He very slowly looked up at me with his heavy eyes that were usually so warm and twinkly, they we're yellowing from the liver failure. I held his had and he said very softly and slowly in his light Dorset accent "Hello Love" how he had always greeted me and I said hello back. We looked at each other a while...
"I love you Grandad, I love you so much" I whispered
"I love you very much too" he replied at the same volume.
"I'm not very well love"
"I know Grandad I know"
"It got worse than it meant to this time sorry" he smiled at me
I had ran out of words and I was scared to hug him properly because of the tubes and things I put my head on his chest and he kissed my head. I still held those tears in. My Mum and Dad said hello and Dad sorted all of Grandad tubes and pillow being the only person big enough to support him. Then we had tea with my Nanny who was being so brave, to let his Sisters have some time with him. When we came back his Sisters informed us they we're now staying the night that they would be back in the morning but they we're going to leave us to have some time with him. So everyone left apart from My Dad and I. My Dad the only one of my Grandads 4 children that has a real relationship with him and me the only Grandchild he has ever spent any time with. We told him that we are going to the rugby finial together at the end of the month, (more on this later) I showed him my engagement ring which he said was beautiful (later he would ask my Mum if the boyfriend was good enough for me) he showed me his ring a watch that he has been wearing since I was tiny. I told him about going to uni and my new job.
We got him full fat milk the only he wanted, he wouldn't eat anything. He had to have his milk in a plastic cup with a handle and he shook uncontrollably while trying to drink it but wouldn't let anyone help. My Mum and Nanny came back and we sat together talking, and my Grandad fell asleep snoring so loudly like he used to in an armchair after all the dinners we had as a family over the years. He woke after 10 minuets and we said we would go to let him rest I went to him held his hand.
"I'll be back tomorrow Grandad"
"Will you take some pictures of my garden and allotment for me?"
"of course I will I'll bring them tomorrow. I love you so much your the best Grandad."
"I love you too." and he squeezed my had so tight I squeezed back and we said goodbye.
We arrived at my grandparents home to find all the furniture that have always had it was like going back in time. Money a neighbour owed them o just out on the doorstep all doors and sheds unlocked, this is the type of village they live in. We went to the local pub where there was a wedding reception being held and it made us feel like gate crashers. We sat in the corner quietly discussing how frail and tired my Granddad looked. I mentioned how I horrible it would be to see him have to live like that for four months. We went back to the bungalow where I Dad played my Dad sat in my Granddads chair and played his guitar, my Granddad had said he could have it. It's a left handed guitar they're the only leftys in our family. The sound of slow strumming haunting in the silent house, make me and Mum well up. We looked around the place at all the memories and gifts we had given. My Dad said he wondered where my Granddad now kept his secret chocolate stash he had always hidden it we don't really know why, we didn't look not wanting to spy. Mum went to sleep early me and my Dad sat up till 1 am talking about everything, he answered questions, we are bad sleepers it's a family thing my Granddad is too. We Finally gave in I made my bed out of chair cushions like always used to at my grandparents no matter what house they lived in. But normally my Granddad would be helping me not my Dad. After 2am I drifted off
Mum woke at 6 but I had already been awake I just hadn't moved. We had tea I put the living back how it should be. When Dad finally woke we got a message from Nanny saying they had, had to sedate Granddad at 4am he was restless and kept saying something didn't feel right, not in pain just not right. We got dressed and showered and then my Dad took me to see my Granddad allotment which was amazing. Potatoes enough to feed a family for a year, rhubarb, cabbage, spring onions, apple trees, peas, many fruits I was in awe of all the amazing work my Granddad had done, he grew enough that he gave it to neighbours. I was running round taking pictures of everything like he had asked me to. I was in the back garden taking pictures of the peonies he had grown when my Mum asked me to come in. She was being strange making sure the door was closed behind me.
"What's wrong?" I asked
"I'm so sorry Simone, but Granddad has gone."
How is that even possible I'm going to see him again that was the plan I've taken all these photo's to show him. I couldn't (still can't) get in to my head that the last time I saw him was the last time. Tears flooded out this great feeling of loss took my whole body as my family stood in my Granddads living room that he would never return to and that my Nanny would have to face on her own. My Dad went into over drive tell everyone that needed to be told helping and sorting that's my Dad being a rock for everyone else. My Mum told my Sisters and I told the boyfriend who was totally shocked. He took his last breath as I was running around his garden in the sunshine taking photos. We rushed to hospital to see me Nanny. We we're all totally in shock.
I need to break from going through it but I will tell you the rest tomorrow