Thursday, June 18, 2009

Love to Grandpa Joe

(that's me as a kid at Cedar Point with my Grandpa Joe)
No I have not gone missing and no I am not done blogging.

My last entry I told you about my grandfather's health problems.

My grandpa Joe was about the healthiest 80 year old man anyone's ever known. He had a gall stone blockage about a month ago that we took him into the hospital to have it removed. Unfortunately from there things spiraled out of control and went downhill fast. I have an empty pit in my stomach and it causes me so much heartache to say that he passed two Saturdays ago.

Grandpa Joe was always someone I was excited to see. You couldn't help but smile when he talked to you. He could do anything and would do anything for anyone. I always told Kevin he was where I got my strength from. He was also where I got my incredible skin color and tone from. I never had to worry about getting sunburns my whole life because I had his nice olive italian skin color.

Look at this guy. I don't think you could have a cooler gramdpa if you tried. He was tan year round.
One week before he first went to the hospital he was laying cement. Yes, he still worked part time at 80 and he was a cement worker. It wasn't until his funeral that a lot of us realized that the other men he worked with were all in their 30s and 40s. I always thought he was laying cement with a crew of old guys for some reason. When Kevin and I moved into our new house in Michigan, Grandpa Joe along with the help of my dad and my cousin Mark painted my house in under two days. It was amazing. I couldn't pick out colors fast enough to keep up with them. My dad was saying that grandpa Joe was always telling him that he takes too many breaks and paints too slow.

I am completely heartbroken and so is my family. I don't think I have cried more about anything in my life honestly. This took my family completely by surprise. We all assumed the first surgery would go so easily and he would be back to work and the racetrack in no time. One surgery turned into another that turned into one complication after another. His liver stopped working, his kidneys failed, his blood pressure dropped, his heart rate spiked, he got a stomach ulcer and on and on it went. I practically lived at the hospital the whole month with the rest of my family.

The hardest part was watching him go through it all suffering. He was unconscious for almost a week. We took him off the respirator one day and he started breathing on his own again. Then the next day he became conscious again and would look at us when we talked to him. We were all able to talk to him knowing he could hear us. We all told him how much we loved him. My dad assured him we would take wonderful care of my grandmother. I asked if he felt comfortable and he nodded yes. Not long after that he died with his whole family at his bedside.

My grandmother is always wondering why this happened. How it happened. Was there a way to prevent it from happening by forcing him to go to the doctor sooner and making them test his blood against his will. (like most grandfathers he was very against going to the doctor). I keep telling her this is the way Grandpa Joe would have wanted things. He would never want to get diagnosed with something like liver disease and be on treatments. He never wanted his blood drawn. He never wanted to walk with a cane or need help from anyone. He LIVED FULLY during his 80 years of life, never taking time off to be sick or disabled.

If wealth is judged by how deeply people love you, he is one of the wealthiest men in the world.

We all love you Grandpa Joe and miss you more than anything.


1 comment:

  1. What a loveable man! I'm so greatful to have him as my "Uncle Joe" all these years! Shannon, it's easy to see the injustice of such a healthy man leaving this world so quickly, but your right... it is a blessing that he didn't suffer & go through all kinds of tribulations he may have if things went differently. Still, I'm in shock, I'm sad, and I miss him!! ((HUGS))


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