Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Until we meet again...

I realize it has been awhile since I last blogged, it is amazing how much can change in just a few short weeks!!

I ran my second 5k on 10/15 in Martinsburg, the Apple Trample. At this race I ran in 36:25 which was SUPER exciting! Especially since I caught a pot hole in the 1st quarter mile and nearly broke my ankle. But I never stopped running, though I was limping for what felt like forever and I got passed by a girl in a wheelchair LOL! I made my 2nd attempt at a water stop...let me tell you they should have "mastering the water stop" as an essential part of you training, because I for one, look like an a-hole every single time! With this race came longer, rolling hills but I survived!!

Two short weeks after the Apple Trample, I headed out on a cruise to the Eastern Caribbean:) I hit the gym once, and ran twice. I didn't track a single calorie but I ate wisely. Working out on a boat is something that is...well, different LOL! My sister and I ran on the outdoor track and you can feel every wave, talk about hill training!! But the best was the 1 mile run that we did, it took us 20 minutes. We were in the middle of a tropical storm with 15 foot waves and 20mph wind. The wind was blowing so hard that we drooled every time we tried to talk. Hardest mile of my life, hands down!!

We had a fabulous cruise, but were totally unprepared for the mess we were coming home to...Within hours of arriving home, we were told that my grandfather had a stroke.

Immediately, I rearranged my plans and we headed to the hospital. Only to find a man I admired more than most in a hospital bed in a comatose state. The doctors told us we would need a miracle. I held his hand as long as I could. Not wanting to leave in fear that it would be the last time.

We spent the next several days watching him deteriorate. This was the strongest man I have ever known, a man who had a handshake that would make its recipient's knees go weak...now it was simply a hand unable to grip anything...as the days passed it became clear that Pap would not be around to see Christmas. The day before his stroke as he laid in the hospital bed, he looked at my grandma and said "Oh, there she is"

By "she" he was referring to my Aunt Diana, she passed away in 1995, and she was standing by his bedside. My grandma reassured him by saying his guardian angel was there with him.Looking back we realized that she wasn't there to look after him, but to comfort him in a time that he needed in most. She was there to help him cross over.

They made plans to have Hospice take him home and "keep him comfortable." Pap hated the hospital and we knew that he would want to be at home. On November 15, Jayce and I headed to the hospital to see my Pap for what I was sure would be the last time. He was completely unable to hold our hands anymore. He looked so handsome, earlier that morning our cousin had come in and shaved him. He always hated having a stubbly face. We sat with him for hours. Then his breaths became more labored, his heart rate went up, and we knew what was coming. His family surrounded him and we recited the Lord's Prayer. As death slowly surrounded us, I remember telling him goodbye. My mom kept saying "It's ok, relax dad" but I knew what he needed to hear. I told her, "Mom tell him it is ok, tell him we will take care of Grandma" and I stepped away.

He hadn't opened his eyes or acknowledged anyone in hours, but as my mom and Aunt told him it was ok to let go, that they would make sure Grandma was taken care of, he sat up looked directly at them and took his last breath. For 65 long years, his world revolved around my Grandmother. He would not pass without knowing that she would be ok. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to watch, and at the same time it was the most peaceful thing I have ever witnessed.

My Pap was an amazing man who loved his family fiercely, worked hard for every dollar he earned, he was a man that accomplished so many amazing things that include working for President Nixon. But at the end of the day, all he had to be to me was my Pap, that in itself made him amazing in my eyes.

A man known for driving his Lincoln like it was an exotic, sports car. A man with amazing stories, and a man who worked hard for everything he had.

My favorite story hands down is that of my grandparents, their “love story” if you will. It certainly didn’t start as many fairy tales do. But I can tell you that when he told that story, his eyes lit up. What started out as a juvenile bet, ended in a 65 year marriage, a marriage full of so much love, even if pap spent half of their marriage waiting on grandma:) You didn’t have to hear Pap say how much he loved grandma. It was in everything he did.   Whether it was simply placing his hand on hers, or absent mindedly placing his arm around her.  I remember watching them as I grew up, thinking that if I found a love half as amazing as theirs, I would be blessed. Their love was the sweetest and strongest I have ever known.

Pap was full of so much knowledge. Growing up, my sisters and I called Pap the “walking, talking encyclopedia.” It didn’t matter what the subject, if there was something you needed to know, Pap knew it.I remember countless times hearing from my mom, “I don’t know girl, why don’t you call your Pap” His endless knowledge never ceased to amaze me. He always had an answer.
I know he is without pain and in a better place, but I still am saddened every day knowing that Jayce will not know this incredible man who loved him so very much...We miss you everyday, Rest In Peace, Pap <3

I honestly planned to write more about my weight loss journey, but I will save that for the end of the week, I promise to be back to my happy, upbeat self in the next blog:)

Until next time!