I can finally catch my breath… well for a moment at least. 🙂 I have decided to make this blog post a bit more personal than usual because I feel I am probably not the only one out there that is going through a tough time this summer. These past two weeks have been a rollercoaster for me, both highs and lows.
I know I wrote a short article about the importance of having health insurance. I figured I owed my father the shout out he deserved and that I could possibly help someone out there, struggling to understand health care plans. However one of the real reasons I published that article was because I was exhausted. An interview on health insurance seemed so much easier than typing up all of the feelings and emotions I was processing at the time. To preface, my family and I traveled to Minnesota in May to attend the beautiful wedding of one of my closest friends. While there, I was so upset at my Grandparents because as always, even though I told them numerous times I would be in town, my Grandma and Grandpa choose to go to a corvette show.
Going back even further… ever since I was little, my grandparents owned this beautiful old 66′ corvette
They loved that car as if it was part of the family, and in truth, it sort of was. My Grandma and Grandpa were both nuts about corvettes. They even belonged to a Corvette club and in a few years time became presidents of that club. I spent many years of my childhood riding around in that baby blue corvette and I even had the honor of singing the national anthem at a few car shows.
Going back to May. I don’t travel to Minnesota too often anymore, now that my parents have moved away, but for my friend’s wedding, I thought this would be the perfect time to catch up with the relatives. I was mad at them for, in my mind, choosing the corvette over spending time with me. I was fortunate however to see them for about an hour before our plane took off. My Grandma complained that she didn’t have enough time with me, and my mother made some snarky remark that it was their choice. My mom has a very subtle nature about her that I love. My Grandpa however looked, not quite right. I could tell something was wrong. He seemed tired and a bit frail. Not the Grandpa I had seen a year before. I left Minnesota that May worried.
As the summer went on, my parents urged my Grandfather to go to the doctor. After a long and drawn out June and good part of July, after multiple trips to the doctor, tests, and family meetings. My family received the news that my Grandpa had Cancer of the Liver. In a matter of two months, my Grandpa had lost over 60 lbs. I was in Colorado doing my best to stay focused at work and here writing this blog, but my heart and head desperately longed to be with my family. Those days were filled with fear and denial. My family urged us to all stay positive, after all, we still had not been given the stage the cancer was at or if he could still fight it. But, I couldn’t shake the feeling that time was running out.
In late July I decided to take off work to spend time with my Grandfather. As I arrived back in Minnesota, my family finally was delivered the unavoidable news. My Grandpa had maybe 2 months to live. I spent as much time as I could with my grandparents. I sat and listened to my grandpa reminisce about old times and all of the cars he ever drove. We laughed and tried to make light of the situation. Cancer is a funny thing, your entire life is suddenly consumed by morbid humor, sadness, and the looming sound of time ticking by. I was so afraid of him suffering, afraid that once he passed…what would happen.
A thought and conversation that gave me hope, was how my grandfather’s face lit up when we spoke about how he would like his funeral. I suggested he arrive in his corvette and not some depressing hearse, and that we all wear corvette shirts and memorabilia underneath our fancy clothes. He loved that idea.
I headed back to Colorado then and waited.
Two weeks later my Grandpa passed away. Peacefully. In bed. Holding my Grandma’s hand. “The best way to go out” as my friend stated. We celebrated his life by taking him to his final resting place in his 1966 corvette, followed by a processional line of 20 other corvettes. I could finally breathe. I could finally grieve.
So now I look back on May and how angry I was about them running off to some car show, and I am incredibly happy. He spent the last months of his life doing what he loved, with the love of his life, no,not the corvette…my Grandma.
Moral of the story, I took my time to grieve and yes I ate all the comfort food I could! I was at first upset at my time off from fitness, however punishing yourself does you no good! There is no time like the present and I am ready to kick some ass and get back at it. So, let’s start this Fall off with a bang. 🙂 That way when the holidays roll around we can eat as much pie, cookies, and stuffing as we want.