Leaving, on a jet plane.
I’m not sure that I’m ready for this.
Tomorrow at noon I will be heading to the Sioux Falls Airport to take a flight to Jackson, Wyoming. From there, I’ll travel over the border to Victor, Idaho, where my grandparents live. This is meant to be a momentous occasion – a “Christmas” surprise for my grandfather. But I just can’t the notion of this as a happy time. It just won’t flow through my head correctly. I know that there is more of a meaning to all of this. I know that this could very well be the last time I see him.
All he wants at this point is to have his family around him. According to my mother he’s very sick, getting thinner and thinner except in his abdomen where the cancer is affecting his liver. He sleeps all of the time, and it’s impossible to know how much pain he’s in because he’s always been a very strong man – a man that’s never admitted pain even when it was necessary.
I’m not a weepy guy, but I well up every time I think about him in this state. I can’t imagine actually seeing him like this; weakened and fragile and close to the end.
There are some things I need to realize, though. He’s the same person. He’s still Donald Wayne Boyer, a man that has always been an influence in my life. He still enjoys the same things, regardless of how lucid he seems. He’s still got life to live, and he’s doing what he can in a lowered capacity to do it.
The only thing that’s changed is that his body is fighting against him. He’s trying to stick around, but sometimes nature doesn’t approve.
My time in Idaho, as much as it may seem, is not the time to say goodbye. This is a time to celebrate the life that my grandfather still has in him. It’s a time to experience all that I can in his company, to make him comfortable and happy, and to relieve some of the anxiety that he’s currently feeling in his condition.
Still, I’m not sure I’m ready for this.
But, as Kerrie said, I probably never will be. That’s the whole idea of it – no one is ever completely ready for something like this.
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The site will be on hiatus for a few days. The December What I’ve Been Reading will pop up in a few days (a little late, I know, but you’ll understand I hope) and quite possibly I’ll log on and post a little bit about what I’m doing in Idaho.
Don’t count on it, though. See you next Wednesday.