I sat in silence, staring down at the raindrops that had temporarily polka dotted my shoes on my walk from the car. Waiting. Surrounded by family, who with patience, waited minute by minute, to see Grandpa. Two by two, as if boarding Noah’s Ark we would go to room six, to see grandpa in his hospital bed. He'd had a seizure, the second in a few weeks and after the test results came back—we all heard the two words no family ever hopes to utter. Brain tumor.
Two by two, we would circle through room six, each spending some time with grandpa before allowing the next to go in. Sure he was going home tonight, but that moment—belonged to him. As the night went on, more tests were ran, the family fan club trickled down to those left without small children to care for, school lunches to pack, and bed time stories to read. Riding it out in the waiting room chair, making small talk, looking around me, and watching those who came to see grandpa, I started to notice—That moment didn’t just belong to Grandpa—He owned it.
As each family member would walk to room six, their composure looked burdened with despair, riddled with saddened—they walked as though defeated. As they would circle back out after visiting with Grandpa, to allow the next visitor their turn, their demeanor had suddenly shifted—faces went from grim to bright and full of life--grins painted across their lips and hope gleaming from their eyes. In between family members visiting Grandpa kept busy captivating the nurses as he regaled tales of his first hospital visit at age 14—leaving them in stitches as he heard someone order a urine jug as a “bottle” and excitedly requested one himself—expecting a free beverage.
I know grandpa was just being grandpa—A little man who’s five-foot-nothing cup has always been half full, but as he owned the moment, he was a true display of strength beyond belief.
In a moment where I would have fallen apart had I walked in his shoes, Grandpa grew strong. In a moment where I would have been overwhelmed with a sense of self despair, Grandpa laughed, smiled, and was at peace. In a moment where I would have ran for solitude rather then bare the news in company, Grandpa’s eyes beamed with love for his family, as he joked with the nurses and hospital staff that he had faked the whole ordeal, just for the visitors. In a moment where I would have given up all hope, Grandpa announced, that he would defeat this. And in a moment where I would have lost faith in everything, feeling confused with no where to turn, Grandpa closed his eyes in prayer, and drew nearer to God.