I constantly try to be unique, I don’t want to be like someone else. I just want to be me. And after only a few hours back in Texas among my flesh & blood, I realize how alike I am to my family.
Wholehearted, strong willed, protective & delicate especially for those we love.
I made it nearly the entire trip without crying, until my grandfather insisted on watching the video from his trip to DC with dad in November of last year. He held my hand and squeezed it along to the beat of the patriotic songs of the movie, grinning from ear to ear. Leaving me more misty eyed than I care to be in a room full of people. (more than I care to admit I am right now typing this)
There is nothing perfect about this photo except for who is in it. I’ve got dirty pony tail hair, no make up and the focus is slightly soft not to mention the distracting stuff in the background. But I have a funny feeling I will be reaching for this imperfect photo in the future. This is real life when you have a loved on one hospice.
My grandmother sent me home with a photo album full of photos of me as a baby, trips to sea world, painting in her studio, and rocking a bowl cut. The photos that stopped me weren’t the ones that were perfect from a photo studio but the snap shots where I could see the personalities of my family come through the camera. Imperfect images are treasures, they capture the real moment.
Travis & grandpa toasted to our visit one night. Enjoying a cup of warmth and with hearts full of love. (insert more misty eyes)
As we left he told me to be good, something he’s told me my entire life.
I pray. I pray, I lived up to that.
If I have lived up to anything. Good enough to be his granddaughter, to carry his strong will and love into a future I honestly cannot bear to imagine without his wit and love. (I’m a mushy mess now, so read this in between sniffles and wiping of tears.)
I honestly, knew it was bad and hard before I got there. I was warned. I stayed strong and allowed distance to keep me and my emotions safe. Now, I’m home in California, 1,620 miles away from them. I can’t help give the man his pills or make him stew. He won’t see my face in the chair across from him in the living room when he wakes from his mid morning nap.
Cancer & hospice is hard, making decisions is hard. Making the right decision is harder.
In a small way I feel like I failed. I want only whats best and I felt I was unable to be the strong person I needed to be to make it happen. Distance can do that to you. Distance can make you feel brave & plan to do and say things then you arrive and you turn into a mushy crying emotional mess because bravery flew out the window when you landed in another state.
I don’t want this post to be a pity party. At least I hope it’s not. Life is hard, seeing those you love & have known since your earliest memory being taken away by cancer or some other terminal disease is not something I am prepared for. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that death comes for us all. But I had great grandparents until 3 years ago, this seems too soon for me. Too soon for him. Too soon for my family.
Cancer is a bitch.