RIP Grandpa Reber

Grandpa and I

Four months ago my Grandpa suffered both a heart attack and a stroke and for the past four months he has been on the road to recovery. Since Grandpa has required someone to be with him at all times, family members took shifts staying out at the house to be with him so that he could stay at his own home. Many measures were taken in order to make sure he was as comfortable as possible. My Aunt Lisa went above and beyond her call of duty as a daughter and made sure that all of his needs were met. They did an excellent job and Grandpa’s health seemed to be improving.

About three weeks ago Grandpa seemed to have come down with some sort of bug that was causing him to be nauseous and have flu-like symptoms. It was understood that his immune system was compromised and that he would be susceptible to the germs carried in by visitors so it was assumed that he might have contracted a cold. After his symptoms has persisted for more than a few days, my dad took him to the doctor to make sure that everything was alright. The doctor told my dad that he needed to be admitted to the hospital. If you’ve been following my blog, you’re aware that I’ve been living in Chicago for the past few weeks for an internship, so I’ve been somewhat out of the loop. I was brought up to speed after Lauren called me to let me know my Grandpa was back in the hospital and told me to call my dad and figure out what was going on.

As it turns out, Grandpa’s kidneys were filling up with bacteria instead of filtering it and so he was going to require dialysis. His first dialysis session (if that’s what you would call it?) had gone well and he seemed to be improving. Dad had told me that there was no reason to rush home because everything seemed to be under control. He said that Grandpa was awake and talking in complete sentences and that things seemed to be improving. This was on Tuesday. I had already arranged to come home on Wednesday to see the family and check up on Grandpa. I didn’t end up getting back home until around 9PM on Wednesday and when I called my Dad, he said that it was pretty late and that Grandpa was tired and needed to get his rest. That being said, I figured I would go see him Thursday afternoon and see how he was doing.

This morning, Thursday, I woke up to the sound of my phone. My dad was calling to inform me that my Grandpa had coded during his morning dialysis and it looked as if he wasn’t going to make it. This phone call had taken me completely by surprise. The entire family was surprised. Last night he had been better than he had been in weeks… and now he’s dying?!?

Lauren and I went from being asleep to fully awake and driving to the hospital in just a matter of a few minutes. Time was of the essence. This is not how my visit was supposed to be. He was supposed to be fine. I was going to tell him all about living in Chicago and my internship. It wasn’t supposed to be like this.

By the time we made it up to the room he had already passed. He was one of the hardest working and most generous person I have known. I always had the utmost respect for my Grandpa. He may have not had the best conversation skills on the planet, but he more than made up for this with his actions. I knew this day would come eventually but I still wasn’t prepared. My grandpa and I have the same hands and the same build. We have a lot of the same personality traits. I think of him every time I look in the mirror. I just hope that he knew how much he meant to me.

RIP Grandpa
I love you.