The reason I came down this weekend was to see my grandpa Vandersteen. I heard he wasn’t well, with lung cancer and a brain tumour, and a serious heart condition. I was afraid that it wouldn’t be long, and I wanted to visit with him. Well, I was right, and he was in the hospital where I went to visit him yesterday. I’ve never visited someone so close to death before. He had a major heart attack on Tuesday, and they thought they had lost him several times, but he came back and was still in this world. You might expect me to say he was holding on, but he wasn’t. He wanted to go. He told me he had left a few times and come back. Wild, eh? I wonder why? Was it himself that kept coming back, thinking he had some unfinished business? Or did God send him back, wanting to give him more time for some reason? Difficult to ponder, and all the more difficult when you see him suffering. He wasn’t too bad when I first got there, but by the time I left, he was having serious trouble breathing. He would stop breathing for 10, maybe 15 seconds (which feels like an eternity) and then start up again. I was holding his hand almost the whole time, and when I first got there, he had some strength in it. Later on, at one point his hand went totally limp, and I honestly thought/feared that he had died right then and there with me holding his hand. I guess it’s better than him dying alone, but what a scary/sobering thing. Wow. Just had to share that with all of you, not to freak you out or anything.
Makes you think about death and what comes after though. Is it just like when you go unconscious – all goes black and you have no memory of that time? Or is there more? I think there’s more. I think we go to another place, all of us, and meet with angels and Jesus and later on, God himself (or some representation of him, since you can’t really get Him all in one place at one time to “meet” Him). And it may sound weird, but one random day at NCTI, I just thought as I was falling asleep – “if I died tonight, I know I’d be okay.” It turns out that was quite close to the time my Dad went for surgery. Coincidence? Not likely. Anyhoo, I still feel the same, as though I’m ready at any time. Don’t worry, though, I’m not anxious to go, and won’t be doing anything foolish to speed it along! 🙂
Makes you want to appreciate those around you, eh? And build memories, do fun stuff together, so that you have great stories to tell and stuff to think about when they’re gone (or simply not around…). 🙂 Tell someone you love them today, even if you haven’t said it in a while, or maybe never! Makes you want to do something about the pain in the world, too. I wanted so badly to help grandpa, to take away some of his pain… but, alas, all I can think is that having someone holding your hand is better than nothing, and it helps the emotional pain, if not the physical.
Whew! That was a serious one. Next time, I’ll be more lighthearted… maybe I’ll talk about mud. Or mosquitos. 🙂 Take care, everybody. No really, I mean it – take care! 🙂