Bittersweet Goodbye


Gramps and I when I was about 5 months old, wearing his favorite green sweater.

From thousands of feet up in the sky, I’m looking down at the seemingly distant East Coast below me. I’m currently on a flight back to Orlando, Florida and I can’t help but daydream and look back on this past week I spent in Toronto, Canada. It was a bittersweet time for me as I enjoyed spending time with my boyfriend and his family, my family, but also saying goodbye to my grandfather.

About 6 weeks ago, while he and my grandmother were visiting my aunt in Toronto, strange things began happening….dementia, hallucinations, paranoia, and terrible nightmares. That was only the beginning, his condition worsen day by day as he began to appear in a continual state of confusion, and eventually became paralyzed and completely bed rest. The doctors were not sure exactly what was going on, and diagnosed him at first with a stroke until last Friday when he was rushed to the hospital with an extremely low blood pressure. The doctors were confused by his eighty-seven year old, seemingly healthy body and decided to do a complete MRI scan. A few days later the doctor changed his diagnoses, to something that shocked us all..Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease also known as “mad cow disease.” There is no cure for this disease, and 1 in a million people will develop it. Now he is home bed rest, and he will pass away in his sleep. My aunt and grandmother have been incredible throughout this difficult process, and show me such a magnificent  symbol of strength and faith. Like my aunt will say, “if it wasn’t for God giving me strength I don’t know where I’d be.”

There was a priceless moment yesterday when I was saying goodbye to him, he actually responded with his eyes while I was talking to him which hadn’t done since they rushed him to the hospital. Moments like these I’ll never forget, and forever cherish.