I haven't written a lot of posts lately mainly because I haven't run a lot lately. I've run maybe three times in the past month. I'm struggling with motivation right now and am going through a rough patch mentally and stress-wise.
Additionally, for the past few weeks, my 91-year-old grandfather (my father's father) has been in the hospital. He is my last remaining grandparent, as we have already lost both my mother's parents (in 2001 and 2004) and my father's mother (2006).
My grandfather lost one kidney's function several years ago. Last week, after being in the hospital for a few days, doctors discovered three tumors on his remaining kidney, which was working at less than 50% function. It's the reason he had been bleeding and losing several units of blood a day. He was being kept alive with constant transfusions, but after the tumor discovery, the treatment options were quite limited for a 91-year-old. Surgery would be probably uselessly invasive and who knows how someone at his age and weakened state would react to anesthesia.
The decision was made to move him to hospice, which occurred yesterday. His move to hospice meant the immediate end of the transfusions. Doctors said that once the transfusions ended, he would pass within 2-5 days.
He lives in nearby Northwest Indiana, so I had been planning to make the visit to say goodbye on Saturday as it was. They moved him to hospice in the morning (we'd been expecting an afternoon move) so once my mother and I arrived, he was just settled into the hospice room.
He slept the whole day, but he woke long enough for me to talk to him for a bit. I am so grateful to have that last time with him. The first thing he did was thank me for the card, which I'd written to him as part of the "Write a hand-written note" Elf 4 Health challenge earlier this week. He told me to keep running, and I said I would. I intend to keep that promise.
Amazingly, despite his weakened state, he still had a lot of his wit about him. At one point he opened his eyes, looked at my uncle Art and said, "Art, you would have been a great athlete." As we were all cracking up, he paused and then said, "But you were too smart."
He was spouting out one-liners all day, albeit slowly and in a muffled tone that at times was difficult to understand. It just shows you the kind of man my grandfather is. Barely conscious and he's still as sarcastic as ever. He is a wonderful man, so generous and compassionate and kind. He will be very much missed.
- The time I had with my grandfather before his passing.
- My wonderful family, who I got to spend a lot of time with yesterday. There are some family members that I had not seen in a long time because of how far away they live. Particularly my uncle Art and aunt Trisha. My uncle Art just had surgery last week to remove his prostate due to prostate cancer, and he still got on a plane from Boston to say goodbye to his father. My family is truly remarkable and I'm so happy to have had that time.
- My beautiful home, which I own.
- My great job, at which I am truly valued and trusted.
- My friends, who have shown an outpouring of wonderful support during this tough time.
- My health, which I worked hard to achieve.
- This beautiful city in which I live (OK fine so I live like a mile from the Chicago city border, close enough) and the community here in my town, particularly my running club.
- My graduate school program, which is helping toward my dream of working in sports.
- On to the slightly more frivolous things: the Washington Capitals.
- Alex Ovechkin.
- Relatedly, my Keurig.
- Books and music.
- The Walking Dead.
- Having a warm home on this snowy day.
- Brooks running shoes.
- My new printer that I just got which is pretty baller and you know, works.