I was 11 when I got the news, my grandfather, my best friend, was going in to have massive heart surgery. I was shaken. It did not sound good. They had to replace the main heart valve, drain his lungs and cut a sack around his heart off. He was in surgery for hours. It felt like days sitting in school, waiting for the news.
He's out. He's okay.
He contracted a virus. A Virus that kills most, in 24 hours.
Wait, he pulled through, he is okay. He is getting better.
I get to see him. I actually get to see him. I walk in. I look at him. Tubes and wires and beeping. I cry. I am no use to seeing him this way. I am scared. I calm down. I talk. He looks at me and smiles. He is listening. I am happy.
They plan on moving him out of the ICU in a few days, we will get to talk to him FINALLY. We will get to hear is voice FINALLY.
I went and saw him every day for three weeks, I couldn't take the anapestic smell anymore, I needed a break. One day not going isn't going to kill him. He will forgive me for not going. I was sick to my stomach from the hospital smell. I just needed a day to myself. My mother comes in. "We need to go. Your father called and said you needed to get to the hospital now. It's Gordy. I do not think he is doing well."
I got the call.... "Danie don't go into grandpas room okay?"
I dropped the phone. I was frozen. I could not move. No I did not hear him right. He cannot be dead. He is my best friend. He was my hero. My role model.
That was the longest ride to the hospital in the three weeks I went up there. I was greeted by my father and cousin, seeing there faces I knew it was true. I lost it again. The walk back to our room was grueling, it felt like I had a lead ball hanging from each ankle.
Walking into that room, a wall of sadness. So many greetings, "Hardest on you" "His little buddy" "I'm so sorry". Everything was spinning, I had to sit down, I NEED to sit down.
Oh gosh, it's grandma. What do you say, she just lost the love of her life. I am shattered and I just lost my best friend. I'll just hug her, sometimes that's better than words. Yes it worked, it comforted her and did not have to worry about trying to sputter out comprehensible words.
We are leaving. We are walking by his room for the last time ever. I will not be back tomorrow. Or the day after. Or ever. We stop. I'm shaking. "Danie do you want to go in and say goodbye?"
"It's okay, he would understand."
No he would not. The one day that I choose to not come up, I came up anyways. This time to say a final goodbye. I could not even go into the room, I was so ashamed. Scared. In denial.
The funeral was the worst part. Seeing him in that wooden box. It didn't look like him. His smile has faded. The joy. The spirit. Gone, just like that. The service was beautiful, he would have loved it. All the grandchildren got up and placed roses on your casket, your and my favorite flower. They played George Jones during lunch. We listened to that CD every summer on the way up to the cabin. I will never see the song Our Bed Of Roses the same every again. That is our song.
Watching him lowered into the ground was what did it. Made me crazy. Made me depressed. I lost my grips on sanity that day. Nothing was the same. I began cutting, burning, anything to feel something. I went numb that day. I died that day. I was existing, but I was not living. Went day to day like a ghost. Woke up, went to class, came home, went to bed. Every day for years. I was lost. I wanted to die so I could be with him again. I plead for death every day. I lost faith. I lost trust. I grieved.
I healed. I learned. I grew up.
I realized that this is not how he wanted me to live. He would want me to live the same trying to make him proud just like I did before he passed. I still miss him. I still hurt during holidays. I still look at pictures and forget he's not here. I still grieve. I still get depressed. The only difference is this time I understand WHY you needed to go. You're not in pain. You're happier. You're still here. You're my guardian angel now. I feel you everywhere and it makes me happy. I can feel how proud of me you are. You are still my best friend. I sill tell you everything. I still live for you.