The last couple weeks have been more harrowing then I would have imagined just a month ago. At that time I was freaking out about one more test and then a final and wondering how on earth I was going to survive sanely through the craze. Right before Thanksgiving break though, everything changed. My grandfather, who for many years has struggled with Parkinson's disease, was pronounced unable to swallow after having struggle with swallowing for some time. The family made the decision to put him on Hospice. Almost every day my family and I were there with him at the nursing home. We worked on our school as best we could, watching and waiting. Though he was unresponsive, we talked to him and hugged him, not wanting him to die alone. My last test came on a Friday and afterwards I went as always to his bedside and began studying for my final. I could tell as soon as I came in that his breathing was worse and when the Hospice nurse came in she confirmed my fears. Her guess was that he would not make it through the night. When my grandmother was wheeled in to his bedside she put her hand on his chest as the pastor told him that she was there. My grandpa opened his eyes for the last time. His breathing continued though and those of us that were in there kept talking. A few minutes later it was the pastor that noticed that he had stopped breathing. A nurse confirmed it. My grandfather had went to be with his Savior. The tears came and the work began. As those around me began preparations for the funeral I buried myself in my studies for my final. I was incredibly blessed by those around me who gave me every opportunity to study admit the chaos. One of my nursing school friends let me come over to her house to study so I wouldn't be distracted by the multiplying family members at my house. My cousin took the time to quiz me over countless questions the evening before and the morning of the test... imparting noogies to me when I missed questions. I took the final and came out with an incredible sense of relief that it was over and a fear of the results. It was past though and now I could enjoy being with my family as we celebrated my grandmother's birthday before the visitation for my Grandpa. In-between that time I got me results back for my final... I had done well and I had passed the class! Again I was overwhelmed by God's grace in getting me through the final, and indeed the whole class, despite the many obstacles. At the visitation and the funeral I was reminded of my Grandpa's love and character as I saw so many people show that had been touched by his generous and loving nature. At the funeral, the pastor reminded us all that though Grandpa was a generous, kind, funny and loving, those did not make him a great man and he knew that. Grandpa knew that he was nothing apart from God and it was because of God that he had those incredible qualities and touched so many lives.
I look back now and I am incredibly grateful for my Grandfather and the years I had with him. However, I know that however much I miss him, he does not miss me as he is in heaven with his Savior.
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