Gramps & Gram at Christmas with the wine we made from their grapes!
Easter we were awakened by a phone call around that my grandpa was unresponsive and had been taken to the hospital by ambulance. We met the rest of my family at the hospital and spent a few hours in the emergency room waiting area. We were allowed to go in 2 at a time to see him and it was awful. They had him basically on life support and he looked so uncomfortable. It was really hard to see.
Finally they decided to move him up to the ICU. He was stable and they were going to be running some tests on him so the 16 of us that were at the hospital all took shifts and came and went throughout . Joe and I went home, showered, and had an Easter lunch at his parents’ house. Once that was done I went back to the hospital then picked up some hot beef to take down to my grandmas so everyone could eat. We knew earlier in the day that we needed to get my grandpas 2 other daughters who live out of state here to Illinois as soon as possible. They started making arrangements early in the morning and both were here by the evening. We knew we wanted him on life support at least until all the family that could be here got here.
Putting on a brave face for Easter.
I went back to the hospital for a 3rd time and they decided that they were going to keep him on the ventilator until the morning when they could do another CT and EEG on him. We already knew at this point that he had suffered a massive stroke at the brain stem and that there was no brain activity. He never regained consciousness and was not responsive to any of the testing that they were doing. A couple of my aunts stayed over night with him at the hospital.
I went back morning around right before his scheduled CT scan. About the doctor came in to tell us that they once again confirmed no brain activity and a major stroke. He said he wasn’t going to perform any additional testing and since we were all on the same page about taking him off life support they would begin the process of doing so.
We took him off life support around morning and he hung on and fought and was breathing on his own until about in the evening when he finally took his last breath. It was a long, exhausting few days for everyone and we were all ready for him to let go. He was surrounded by 16 family members over the day and a half in the hospital, and 14 of us were able to be there those last few hours of his life. We were highly complimented by the hospital social worker for being able to surround him with so much love.
We all did a shot of Rock & Rye for grandpa! Even my dad!
He was 92 years old and lived a very full life. He was in the Navy, he got a Master’s Degree, he taught biology and drivers education, he had 6 children, 11 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren. He loved to tell stories and had so many of them to tell. When I saw him for lunch I sat by him and listened to many of those stories and I am so thankful that family was home for Easter and we were able to spend some quality time with him. He could not have picked a better weekend to go. We will truly miss him!
Grandpa in the Navy, he was 24 years old in this picture.
One last peaceful photo to remember him by.