Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Farewell Grandpa West..Until we meet again
This month brought a huge shock when my dear Grandpa West passed away suddenly! He did not have to struggle long and we were able to say goodbye to him so for that I am grateful. My mom and her sister LeeAnn rushed him to the hospital late Sunday night and the doctors and nurses were trying their best to figure out exactly what was going on. He was transferred to the ICU shortly after and put on a dialysis machine that would work for his failing kidneys. However, when one thing would start helping his kidneys, his heart would start struggling. Whenever they would give him meds to help his blood pressure and heart, his kidneys would produce more infection, and so it went. My grandpa's last day coherent was Monday July 14th. My mom and some of her siblings were told that he was very critical and that if he survived he would be on dialysis for the rest of his life. Grandpa did not like the sound of that. Some very special moments happened in that room and there is no doubt that angels were present! The veil was very thin and everything became very real to me that grandpa wasn't going to make it. Even though I selfishly wanted him to stay, when I prayed for grandpa it's like I already had a feeling that he was needed on the other side, and that his earthly life was coming to an end. All week long family visited grandpa in the hospital. He was put under deep sedation and intubated to give his body the best chance at surviving. There were times when he would squeeze my hand or move his eyes when I leaned close to tell him I was there and that I loved him. I know grandpa heard me and that meant a lot. I just wanted him to know how much I would miss him and how thankful I was for his example and all he did. Some days we would get hope from the doctors and then others we would be told to say our goodbyes. It was a roller coaster of emotion. Saturday morning, July 19th, grandpa's body started to give up. The doctors informed us the blood pressure meds were no longer working and that he was producing hardly any oxygen on his own. The machines were what was keeping him alive. When I went down that day to see him he looked different to me than he had the night before. I could tell he was going to pass. All that day my aunts, uncles, cousins, other family, and friends gathered together to support one another and to give grandpa our love one last time. It was so hard, but it was quite the sight to see as one person after another filled in that room and shared memories and love for grandpa. I hope that is how it will be when I die. All of us wanted to be there for him like he had always done for us. He was always there for me and showed up to support me throughout my life. He always told me he loved me and brightened my day when I would see him. He was giving, kind, and loving. He was my friend. After a family prayer was given, the machines were moved from grandpa and to short breaths later he passed from this life to the next. I know that without a doubt he was welcomed by family members and loved ones on the other side who loved him dearly like us. He was reunited especially with the love of his life, my grandma who passed 16 years earlier, and his two children he lost when they were babies. What a sweet reunion I'm sure it was. I am grateful for my knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ and for the plan of salvation that allows a way for us to be eternal families. We will be forever connected due to the sealing priesthood powers in the temple. Grandpa I love you! Until we meet again.... Grandpa lived a full life; from growing up on a ranch in the White Mountains on the Apache reservation, and raising cattle, and breaking broncos to starting a family with my grandma. For the comfort of his wife and children he moved to Mesa, and there he served as a firemen for over 30 years for the Mesa fire department. He was even fire captain when he retired and helped set up the modern day 911 system. Grandpa was an indian, cowboy, gentleman, firemen, and so much more to his children, grand children, and great grandchildren. Not one of us didn't know that he loved us and would do anything for us! My grandpa raised three girls and two boys with my grandma. They lost two children when they were babies but like I said earlier in this post, are reunited with them again. I will never forget my wonderful memories of grandpa. From roping us in the back yard, pinching us and teasing us, giving us horse rides, to supporting me in my sports, concerts, graduations, wedding, special events like child births, and the list goes on. I was even lucky enough to go on a cruise to Alaska with him, my aunt, and my mom. We created some fun memories there by kayaking, fishing, white water rafting, whale watching, bear watching, and so on. It was something I was grateful for then and am even more grateful for now to have spent that time with him. He knew everyone and was a friend to all, unless of course you did something to one of his children, or grandchildren :) I will also always remember christmas mornings at his house, easter egg hunts in his back yard, gatherings for root beer floats on sunday evenings in there kitchen, and playing in the basement with the toys and scary, dead animals hung on the wall. Grandpa was talented in so many ways, but what I will remember him most for is his loving, and giving heart. I am honored to be one of his posterity and I hope I can make him proud.