Last Saturday, November 15, the girls went to play with Grandpa and GranMary (Jerry’s dad and his wife), as usual. Jerry and I had a nice lunch date at Panera, on our anniversary. It was lovely.
Last Sunday, Jerry’s dad had a cardiac incident and was hospitalized until the middle of the week. Friday, GranMary had a preliminary procedure for some vascular surgery on her legs. Saturday, of course, the girls didn’t go play over there. Yesterday, Grandpa passed out, hit his head on the way to the floor, and was rushed to the ER with another episode of ventricular tachycardia — arrhythmia. His defibrillator shocked his heart into the proper rhythm several times through all of this, and saved his life.
This morning, our phone rang at 4:55am. GranMary was calling us to tell us to get to the hospital, because he had taken a turn for the worse.
When we went in, he was hooked up to a ventilator and had a stomach tube, but he was alert. We were able to talk to him, and he motioned for a pen and paper so he could communicate with us. He asked a few questions about what had happened, how long the tubes could be in, if he could have water, where we would be waiting when they made us leave again. And then he wrote, “Love you all.” We all nodded and told him we loved him, too.
At that point, his heart went into fibrillations again and we were asked to leave in a hurry. They resuscitated him again, and came out to ask what his wishes would be if he were to have another episode. It’s one thing to think about these questions and how you would respond, and quite another thing entirely to hear them asked. We answered their question as we know he would have wanted, and got to go back into his room to be with him as he died. It was not a dramatic flatlining like you see in the movies; it was just a peaceful passing as his heart gradually slowed and finally rested. And then nothing.
Rest in Peace, My Beloved Father-in-Law. You will be missed terribly.