I am not prepared, nor do I know how to prepare myself for death's approach. My grandfather's health is taking a gradual turn for the worst, and I do not know how to prepare myself for his passing. My intent is to make the 4-hour journey back home as often as I can to see him and my grandmother more.
I was raised in the same household as my grandparents. My mother, as young as she was when she divorced my dad, left my abusive father and came to live with her parents. I slept in the same bed with my mother and grandmother until I grew too big. I spent everyday with my grandparents in "our" house in Laredo, a small house filled with so many memories and love. My grandfather and I didn't have the best of relationships - he was a hard, tough man. I always felt that I was singled out as the grandchild without a father, the different one, and I often sensed the difference. Nonetheless, when I got older and left to college, our relationship softened, grew a little more palatable. About a year ago, I saw him cry because I was going back home to Austin and he missed me. And as luck would have it, now that I feel like our relationship is one of love and trust, I can see death's hand approaching.
I know I am being selfish for not wanting to let him go, at the time that I can honestly say I want to get closer to him, get to know him. Part of me is terrified of seeing my grandmother lose her husband shortly after her sister passed. I am terrified of it being my mother that finds him gone. How does one prepare for the inevitable? All I can try to do is see him, see my grandmother, spend more time with them as often as I can. I want to be there for him in any way that I can, be there for my grandmother and my mother, but damn the distance, there is only so much that I can do.
Stay strong Chief - I will be here for you and I love you.