My Grandfather Left a Lasting Impression
I can Never Forget
When I went to St Lawrence Hospital in June 1982, I really did not know how sick my grandfather was. So I was thoroughly shocked as he was yelling and threatening to hurt people. This was the beginning of the end.
Nonetheless, gramps did calm down upon my entrance, and I remember my Uncle Bill noting the importance of my arrival. “That’s some good medicine,” he observed to my Dad.
Nonetheless, I quickly came to understand that his behavior was related to the pressure that a tumor was putting on his brain. However, we had the hope that the growth was benign, and an operation would set him straight.
We had proof of a positive outcome, because medication shrunk the tumor over time, and his sensibilities were returning. On the other hand, tumor or not, Gramps didn’t want to be in the hospital. So there was still ire being levied in the direction of my father and uncle.
Even so, the crusty patient felt my grandmother should have been able to overrule his sons, and prompted by a nurse, the old sarcasm returned.
“Since you’re getting better, what do you want to your wife to get you as a present,” she innocently asked.
I mean talk about setting it up on a tee for that wit. “A gun, so I can shoot her,” Gramps let fly.
He got his frustration across but a joke for sure. More importantly, I had my grandfather back, and to boot, we were taking him home in wait of brain surgery. The best day of my life, it appeared to be.
Of course, he was still a little shaky, and I remember him taking a seat on the couch as my cousin Lisa came over to say hello. He returned a perplexed look at her, and humorously characterized his diminished capabilities. “I don’t know who you are, but I’m pretty sure I knew you in my glory days,” Gramps deadpanned.
Did I say I had my grandfather back. But it was not to be. Home in Shenorock, he obviously wanted to get right to work. Clean up the yard, polish the furniture, take out the garbage, he was too unsteady on his feet, and guess what, Gramps would have none of that.
A few hours in, an argument started, and he began waiving a kitchen knife around. We were left with no choice but to take him back to the hospital and then things got serious.
His cognitive abilities continued to improve and created an unexpected dilemma. The doctors now declared that gramps was competent enough to decide on undergoing brain surgery. Do I even have to tell you what his decision was. He would have grabbed my grandmother, got right on a plane, and whenever the end came, it came.
But my Dad intervened. You see, Gramps had no idea what he had done back at the house, and when my father revealed the incident, my grandfather bravely put himself aside. He agreed to the operation.
Unfortunately, the tumor was malignant, and he declined steadily over the next few months. I saw him one last time at Thanksgiving. He was not my grandfather, and I have no problem dismissing the memory.
August, however, is harder to put aside. My only real sharp and distinct memories I have of my grandfather are mentioned just above. So if things had broke a little better, he would have been home with us the entire month before I went to college.
I would have had a lot more memories to my credit, and I characterize that loss in stark simplicity. It was unfair/
Thus, I believe fallout has had a lasting impact. It has given me a heightened sense of injustice and pervades on both a conscious and subconscious level. A good thing for sure and the fact that the episode nearly brings me to tears now, shows how special my grandfather was to me. I know I'm not the only one.