A Journey with Love and Laughter

Read about our family as we journey through life as a family, with siblings, school and spina bifida, and lots of fun and laughter along the way!

Friday, October 14, 2011

A Lost Grandfather

Grief, acceptance, remembrance, anger and love.

This post is not about spina bifida at all. It is about something that touches every life, and it has touched ours before, but this past week it did more than touch. This week cancer decided to knock us down and kick us in the face. And even if you know it is coming, even if you have been informed that medically there is nothing more to do, it just means that you`ve been squinting and ready for that kick, that hurt, that pain.
This past thanksgiving has been very unthankful. My father-in-law passed away after a lengthy battle with cancer.

You know, you hear that a lot; battle with cancer. But you don`t really realize from those simple words how much of a battle it is. And it`s not a battle, simple and over quickly. A clear winner and loser at the end. It is a war.
It is a horrible, ghastly war where you will use everything at your disposal to win. You will pour poisons into your body. You will need to prepare for the next battle. And it takes courage to fight. To walk into that hospital knowing you will feel worse before feeling better. And hoping that you will feel better.

Marty was diagnosed just after Nickolas was born. For the last 2 years we have seen him go through chemotherapy, surgery, radiation, we have seen PICC lines and hospital stays, ICU and ventilators and being told he probably won`t live through the night. Then miracles and wheelchairs, walkers,  therapists and a new normalcy. Before getting well enough to enter the battlefield again.
And it makes me angry! It makes me so angry that my kids will be missing their grandfather, that Kyle is missing his father, Marie is missing her partner, and we are all missing someone. I am angry that all of the plans he had to enjoy his grandchildren. Now he won`t have. It makes me angry, it makes me furious. And it makes me incredibly sad. It makes so sad to see how our lives have been changed, and everything that we will miss.
I`m not really sure where I`m going with this. Not all blog posts have to have a point. And I do write about the Ridding family, and we are missing an important part of our lives now.

This week we came together as a family. Nick had his private moments that made me realize that he has been touched by his grandfather. We were at the house, just the kids and me. Nickolas wanted me to go into the bedroom. So we went. We stood in the empty room, looked at the empty bed. Nick looked around and waited. He just wanted some moments.
Katheryn also knows that Papa Ridding is gone. I had to be careful with my words, I tried not to use `sick` - because what about when anyone gets sick. We talked about that he had to go away, and we are sad. But we can look at him in pictures.

At the visitation, we sat and looked at the photos. Nick perks up and says `Papa!` and points at the pictures. That makes me sad, but also happy that he has that memory, that both the kids had the opportunity to have memory of their grandfather.
I lost my grandfather when I was 4 years old. I have memory of him. In fact, one of my favourite pictures (which is also in our bedroom) is taken when I was a baby and it was Christmas (or Thanksgiving) and he`s holding me and I`m chewing on a turkey bone. I remember that I was not able to go to his funeral.

So yesterday our kids were at that funeral, and the funeral was full of sadness as well as the joyful sounds of children. Seems like a touching tribute for a proud grandfather.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, Amanda, I'm in tears here. I lost my grandfather when I was five to cancer and just after Cordelia was born we lost Jeff's dad to cancer. His battle was short and not at all sweet. We had only 6 weeks from the time he went in to see why he was feeling badly to the end. Cancer is so cruel. It's evil and unforgiving. I'm so sorry for your families loss.