I know I have only written up part one of my tales of Grandpa Lefty, and I will write up part two. It’s just really hard right now and I haven’t been able to sit down and write it up.
You might ask:”Why don’t you just write it up now, you’re here, typing about him?” Well, mostly because I have other things I want to get out first. Mostly about my visit to the hospital to see him last night.
Let’s start this by saying I never thought him being this sick and close to his death bed would effect me like this. When my dads dad passed away back in 2006 I felt almost nothing. I was sad. I didn’t like it. However I did not shed a tear nor was I broken up about it. I had only met this man three times in my entire life and only spoke to him on the phone maybe a dozen times. I was 24 when he passed so there where several years for us to get to know each other, and it just never happened. I loved him, I respected him, I just didn’t know him.
Grandpa Lefty is very different. I grew up with him. I saw him a lot as a kid and did a lot of awesome things with him. He taught me how to use a chainsaw, drive a tractor, build a fence, fix a lawn mower, widdle a chunk of wood, the value of hard work and so much more. Even though I was and am the least favorite grandchild (and it has been made known on several occasions that this is the case) I still feel close to him in a way I can not describe. Maybe it’s because I’m not the favorite that I look up to him so much. I always tell myself that if I can work half as hard as he can I’m doing okay.
Last night I went to the hospital to see him again and it was vastly different than any time before. I’ve talked to him since he’s been in the hospital but each time he was heavily sedated and could only speak in breathy hard to understand words. This time he was sitting up, able to speak like normal and over all looking good. Only it was very difficult. He want’s to leave the hospital. He wants to get back to doing what he does best, being Grandpa Lefty and letting nothing stop him from the things he loves to do. Like working on a lawn mower or tractor.
He asked me to help him get up so I could take him home. I had to tell him no, which is something you generally just don’t tell Grandpa Lefty. He got mad at me for that and I tried to explain that I couldn’t because the doctors wouldn’t let me take him home even if I tried. He was generally in good spirits about things though. He kept joking with us. When Lila, my step-grandma, asked him for a kiss so she could go home he casually looked down and said “no, I don’t think I want to do that.”
Lila responded with “Well I’m just going to stand here until you do so I can go home, Lefty!” He smiled and laughed a little then gave her the kiss she wanted. He joked with his nurse who wouldn’t let him get up that he was going to make her go outside and get a switch so he could ‘whup her ass’. These things gave me hope that my kids would soon be able to see him again (they all love him so much and always want to see him).
But then he would forget where he was and get angry that he couldn’t leave again. We were able to calm him down pretty quickly when we reminded him he was in the ICU and that he needed to rest and get better.
It’s really hard to me to see him forgetful and vulnerable. In my mind Grandpa Lefty has always been this ‘tough as nails, do anything as long as you work hard for it old man’ that I could measure my life to and see how I stack up. Well, not my life per-say because I wouldn’t want to have lived his life but my ambition. I’ve always been, and always will be, respectful of the efforts he puts out and the way in which he lives his life, not necessarily the things he does but his determination to not be lazy and get done what needs to get done. That is what I meant. But to see him so vulnerable and talking nonsense is difficult, as I’m sure it is for anyone with a loved one who has gone through this.
When I got home last night I had a hard time. I’m not to proud to admit this is really wearing on me and last night I was unsure if I would be able to go to the hospital and see him again like that. This morning I’m doing better and I know I will go see him again, even though it’s tough. I have to remember this isn’t about me at all. It’s about him, and he needs to know that no matter what his family loves and cares for him. Even the ones on the bottom of the proverbial family food chain.
I guess I will just make this part 2 of my posts on Homer Charles, since it fits the formula. Part 3 will come soon-ish. I need to find some photos for it.