Strongest man I have ever known.

by Riley

My grandpa has always been the type to work and work and work. He spent 30 years in the Marines and after he retired from there, he began driving a dozer for a local oilfield company in my hometown. He worked there until he was 82 if that tells you anything about him. When he wasn't doing that he was building things. He tried retiring from driving a dozer 4 times but couldn't stay away and always managed to go back to work. His first heart attack was in 2000. I barely remember it because i was only 7 years old. All i know is my grandpa drove himself to the hospital, and it was about an hour after it started that he did. He wasn't the type to complain, he never told anyone that anything was wrong until, well, he was almost dead. But that's just who he was. He was the strongest man i have ever known. Over the last 12 years he has had 3 heart attacks, a pace maker put in, a quadruple bypass, and 8 stints. His last heart attack was on March 2nd 2011. My mom (which is his daughter) had gone to see him on February 28th and she said he didn't seem right, like he wasn't feeling good. But of course he wasn't going to say anything. Well then she went back the next day, and he was complaining about chest pains. Well when my grandpa complains, you take action. There is no telling what is wrong. So my mom took him straight to the ER and of course, he was having a heart attack. But he didn't want to say anything. The doctor said if we would have waited any longer we would have lost him. It was scary but the whole next year was even worse. He slowly went down hill. It took him awhile to recuperate and we thought he was getting better but he would just keep getting sick. Finally, he said he was retiring from driving the dozer. And surprisingly, he actually did. But that was something that kept him going these last 20 years and to me, I think his body couldn't keep up with him through it all so when it got its chance it hit him, and hit so so hard. He just wasn't the same.. On March 14th 2012, my grandparents were eating lunch at a fast food joint. They were leaving and when my grandpa stepped off the curb he fell and broke his arm. They sent him to the hospital and had him there for a couple off hours and finally released him. He got home and was walking to the door and fell and broke his hip. All in the same day. My poor grandpa who worked his whole entire life, was slowly drifting away right in front of us. I never thought it would happen. He spent a couple of days in the hospital in my hometown then was sent to a hospital in our states capital where his heart doctor was. They did surgery on his hip there so they could monitor his heart. He was doing ok. Not like we had hoped for but you never know what you will get with someone his age going through a thing like that.. About 2 weeks later he was transferred to a nursing home about 30 minutes away from my home to do rehab. My grandpa was slowly losing it.. He was so used to getting up and going whenever he wanted and he couldn't anymore. He sat there day after day slowly drifting away from us.. About a week after he was there, he got sick with pneumonia and they rushed him to the ER. He was barely breathing, he was in horrible condition. I stood in the ER with him and my dads mother and I held his hand during what we thought were his last few moments. I have never seen my grandfather in any worse condition. It was horrible, and as I stood there holding his hand, with his eyes closed, he let go of my hand and reached up like he was reaching for God. I knew he was trying to go, I knew it and i started bawling. I've never dealt with something so hard in my entire life. But he beat it. I still don't know how but he did. He stayed in ICU for about a week and was finally released. That was the man I've known for the last 18 years of my life. He never stopped fighting. But on April 8th 2012, Easter Sunday, me and my family went to see him. I promise you, my grandfather has never looked as amazing as he did on that day. He was up and dressed and sitting in his chair. He was smiling and laughing and talking, something we hadn't seen in almost a month. We had hope for the best. I had brought him a present for Easter, some sugar free chocolates because he was diabetic, and a little purple bear. He absolutely loved it and laughed when he saw it. He had so much joy in his eyes, it was unbelievable. He told me he named the bear purple people eater... It meant everything to me that i could make him happy one more time. I graduated in May this year, and the last two things i said to my grandpa were "You have 48 days until my graduation papa, you can make it." and "I love you." The last thing my grandpa said to me was that he loved me. I gave him a kiss on the cheek and a hug and I was gone. Two days later i was at school. A guy in my grade came up to me and said they needed me in the office and right then I knew he was gone. I started bawling. I knew it. And as soon as i got to the office they told me to call my mom so i did. My dad answered and his exact words were "Riley, I'm so sorry, but your Papa Bill is gone." I hung up. I couldn't take it. It was the hardest thing i have ever had to hear in my entire life. The nurses had gone to check on him early in the morning and he wasn't breathing, they revived him and sent him to the hospital. At 7:42 A.M. on April 10th my grandfather went to be with the Man he loved who would finally heal him from his pain and suffering. it was a hard day for all of us. but especially my mother. It was her birthday, and she was the only child. It crushed her and it killed all of us a little. 3 days later we had the funeral. it was so hard. I don't know why it is affecting me like it is. No one else seems to be in the state I'm in. i know we all miss him but i can't let go. it was killing me and i just wanted to be with him and it made me think of doing some horrible things. Whenever i would think about it i would just cry and i could not make my self stop. but i slowly forced myself to not think about it. Any time i catch myself starting to I force myself to stop because i know i will end up crying and crying. I have done this so much that it seems like i have forced myself to think it didn't even happen, like he never even existed. i have done this so much that it is like I am just calling some random man my grandpa. I hate it and its killing me. Over 2 months later, I have still not let myself believe it has happened. I feel like i have no one to talk to about it. I have built up my emotions this whole time and it is taking a toll on me. i am not the same. I'm not happy, i feel confused, and lost. My heart is broken and its causing me to not be able to have a relationship with anyone. I have had the same boyfriend for 3 years and these last 2 months things have been horrible just because I feel torn apart from a man i love more than anything. I even started college classes this summer and i feel like I'm not doing anything right because i never got to hear my grandpa say that he's proud of me or that I'm making good decisions. I just feel like i can't do anything or be with anyone because he's gone. Its not fair. I get so mad about the fact that he didn't make it to my graduation. it isn't fair at all. Its all i wanted and it was the last thing i ever said to him. I have and older sister and we are my grandparents only grandkids so i was the last one to graduate. I just wanted him there but he didn't come. it devastated me. I just don't know what to do. I feel so lost and like i don't have anyone. I just don't know what to do anymore and I just want to have closure so so bad because this is breaking my heart even more.. I just miss him so much and I just want to hold his hand again or give him a hug..

Comments for Strongest man I have ever known.

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Jun 26, 2012
Strongest man I have every known
by: Doreen U.K.

Hi Riley,
I am sorry for the loss of your grandfather. he seems an amazing man who has left a rich legacy of his life with his grandaughters.
You are so young and in the reality of GRIEF has hit you hard. The stronger the LOVE the harder the GRIEF will be.
You need to surround yourself with supportive family who can help you through this grief. You can also go to a counsellor if you feel you can't cope with the grief and they can support you through this. You can also keep a journal and write out your feelings and also letters to your grandfather.
I hope you have better days ahead and that you are able to move forward in you own time and way and find the relief you need from this sorrow. Best wishes.

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