Part of growing up is seeing those around you growing older, too. I've never (in my adult life) though of my grandparents as old and never really contemplated what life would be like without them. Even though I've basically grown up 12 hours away from them, they've always been there...until Sept. 2000. This is when I lost my first grandparent (dad's dad). It wasn't too hard, though. He was unhappy and was ready to die. No, he hadn't been sick for a long time and he wasn't in pain, just unhappy and ready. Kind of hard to cry over that.
I've realized that most people have their "favorite" grandparents and then "the other ones." I've realized that I just relate better to one set than the other. Mom's parents are very down-to-earth farmer-types (okay, they were farmers). There is a very large extended family and everyone is fairly close regardless of how far, physically, they are.
Dad's parents were quite a bit different. There always seemed to be an elephant in the room. Their house was very neat and orderly...complete with doilies on the chairs and end tables.
I've been fairly protected from death (by God's grace) in my life. The only deaths I've had in my life that really affected me were my two dogs and my great-grandma (in 1999). Now, in the last 6 months, it had come a lot closer. No one has passed, yet, but I know it will happen. Last month my dad's mom was in the hospital with E. coli. When you're 83 and already diagnosed with a lot of other things, this is NOT good. She pulled through, though, and is doing good.
Grandpa (mom's dad) has Alzheimer's and it's progressing.
Then, last week, Grandma (mom's mom) was diagnosed with liver cancer.
It's very large and spread to the lungs and the spleen. The problem is, liver is secondary and they don't know where the primary source is ( or was). She starts chemo today...they can't do radiation on the liver...we have no idea how it will respond. I have a lot of thoughts that have been running through my head about this, but this post is already getting very long. I'll save them for tomorrow (or maybe just later today). Keep grandma in your prayers (and my mom and her brother and sister, too). This is going to be hard on a lot of us.