Tag: grandparents

grandpa mike (final part)

My sister, who has been living in Hungary, was able to move up her flight moving back to the states a week and arrived to PDX on Friday night. Since one of my parents had to come up from Eugene to pick her up from the airport, I decided to head down with them and catch a Bolt Bus home on Sunday. Despite getting back to Eugene right around midnight, the whole family went over to sit with Grandpa for a little bit.

Each day we went over for a little bit and basically just watched him sleep.

I went with an old friend on Sunday morning (who knew him well), and then once more by myself right before I had to head down to the bus stop to go home. As I left, I kissed his forehead and told him I loved him one last time.

Overnight, he passed away peacefully in his sleep. His journey on this crazy planet complete.

I’m going to miss you grandpa.

I’m happy he got to meet both of my sisters children before he passed away. Someday I hope to tell my own children stories about him.

This is one of the last pictures of him, from the weekend James was born:


Four generations.

I love you grandpa.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2016/grandpa-mike-final-part/

Grandpa Mike (part 3)

For most of my college years, I lived in the mother in-law suite at my Grandparents house. During that time, I acquired a dog from a co-worker. Bruno was approx 2 yrs old when I got him (but his age wasn’t really known). My grandparents had huge back yard with plenty of room for him to run (and run and run and run). Inside the house…he was pretty good at following basic instructions, but when he was outside it was like all hearing disappeared. He was a mix of Walker Hound and Black Lab (at least).


When I moved up to Portland in 2004, Bruno stayed at my grandparents house. He was happier there than he would have been able to be anywhere I would have been able to live at the time. He truly became my grandparents dog though the time one of them fell (either in the bathroom or outside…my memory is failing me at the moment) and the other was either outside or in the house. Bruno went and found the other of them to get their attention and lead them to the other.

Bruno lived a long time. I got him sometime in 2000 and he finally had to be put down just last year (or maybe late 2014…dates seem to be failing me at the moment). As much of a pain in the ass Bruno could be at times. I’m glad he was able to be a companion to my grandparents for a while. I know he loved being there with him.

Love you Grandpa.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2016/grandpa-mike-part-3/

Grandpa Mike (part 2)

My sisters with Grandpa at Alisha’s wedding.

My grandpa was released from the hospital yesterday and while he recovered from the surgery and the initial reasons he was hospitalized, he’s having problems eating. Per his wishes (and after consulting with the doctors), there isn’t really much that can be done for that as he’s not a good candidate for further surgery that would help him take in food easier. Basically he’s now in care to manage pain and be comfortable. But most likely it’s just a matter of time. He’s 92, he’s lived a long good life. Was at home until going into the hospital on the 3rd. He’s outlived his wife by 9.5 years (so far). Not to shabby, especially for a family where the men don’t typically make it into their 90s.

I’m going to miss him though. He has been a huge part of my life growing up and who I’ve become. I’m not really ready to see him go (selfishly).

I love you Grandpa.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2016/grandpa-mike-part-2/

for lost friends

For Lost Friends

As twilight makes a rainbow robe
From the concealed colors of day
In order for time to stay alive
Within the dark weight of night,
May we lose no one we love
From the shelter of our hearts.

When we love another heart
And allow it to love us,
We journey deep below time
Into that eternal weave
Where nothing unravels.

May we have the grace to see
Despite the hurt of rupture,
The searing of anger,
And the empty disappointment,
that whoever we have loved,
Such love can never quench.

Though a door may have closed,
Closed between us,
May we be able to view
Our lost friends with eyes
Wise with calming grace;
Forgive them the damage
We were left to inherit;

Free ourselves from the chains
Of forlorn resentment;
Bring warmth again to
Where the heart has frozen
In order that beyond the walls
Of our cherished hurt
And chosen distance
We may be able to
Celebrate the gifts they brought,
Learn and grow from the pain,
And prosper into difference,
Wishing them the peace
Where spirit can summon
Beauty from wounded space.

– John O’Donohue (from To Bless the Space Between Us)

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2016/for-lost-friends/

Humpday Haiku: For Grandpas…

fall grieves the loss of
family covering earth
with tearfull leaves

ahh…the best laid plans.  I had intended to make this a weekly feature with the posting of the first haiku on Nov 4th.  But then I was called to jury duty and the past two Wednesdays were my only days in the office (and therefore quite busy).

This weeks haiku is inspired by Alicia’s grandpa, Stan, who passed away last week, my grandpa, Harold, who taught me what it meant to love (and passed away in August 1991), and my other grandpa, Mike, who is facing the upcoming second anniversary of my grandma’s death.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2009/humpday-haiku-for-grandpas/

one deep breath: grandparents

One of the things I failed to touch on in my earlier post about my last couple weeks in Oregon, is perhaps one of the most important things I did while I was home in Eugene for the two and a half weeks.  Because all of the grandchildren were going to be in town, we were going to inter my grandmothers ashes.  My grandfather had wanted to wait for a time when we could all easily be there.  My sister, who lives in NYC, had flown back just a couple days before my grandmother passed.  Because my grandmother did not want a funeral, there was no rush to bury her ashes.

The whole family drove up to the small cemetery where her ashes would rest.  They would be put directly into the ground next to her parents.  My uncle dug a small hole and my grandfather opened the box her ashes were in and poured them directly into the ground.  What remained of my grandmother would at least feel the earth around her as she wanted.  Yet again, however, I learned about love from the eyes of my grandfather.  This haiku is for him.

for grandpa

her ashes covered
within the dirt.  his tears truth.
their love still evolves.

past breaths for my grandparents:
odb: legacy, odb: storms, odb: a new year, odb: roots

more breaths from the poets at one deep breath

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2007/one-deep-breath-grandparents/

one deep breath: roots/connection

Ashes (a haiku)

for grandma

they too fade away
reduced to a jar those
eighty-three years


more roots & connections from the poets at one deep breath 

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2007/one-deep-breath-rootsconnection/

RIP Grandma

At 7pm tonight…my grandma passed away.  She’d had a couple of rough days of fighting…but the last two days it was difficult for her to breathe.  At least now she’s at peace.

I love you grandma and I’ll miss you.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2007/rip-grandma/

clouds hanging over life

Things don’t look good with my grandma.  Even if she were to recover…she’s likely never to be able to really return home.  The last couple days have been rough on her.  She’s having a much harder time breathing.  It’s a very labor intensive process for her.  She doesn’t want to die, but she’s also very afraid.  You can hear it in her voice and see it in her eyes.  If she can’t stabilize…they can’t do a surgery for a feeding tube in her stomach.  And she can’t go to a rehab center without the surgery.  

It’s been such an emotional roller coaster this past week.  The strength of my grandpa and my uncle and dad amazes me.  They’ve slept so little since Thursday…taking turns to make sure someone is always with her.  I know I haven’t had their strength.  Being at the hospital is tough and makes me sad.  I go at least once or twice a day…but I’m always exhausted after just a few hours.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2007/clouds-hanging-over-life/

the joys of eldercare

I headed down to Eugene Wednesday after work in order to make sure I’d have a chance to see my grandma.  She’d had a pretty rough weekend and it was pretty touch and go.  Thursday morning, my sisters and I were getting ready to head over to the hospital for a visit when my dad called.  They had decided that they would be removing the feeding tube and ventilator currently down her throat.  The risk (and what the doctors expected to happen) was that her throat would continue to swell after removing the tube, making it impossible for her to breathe.  So around 10:30am Thursday morning, the tubes were removed and an unexpected thing happened.  Nothing.  She stabilized fairly quickly and remained that way for the rest of the afternoon.  At this point, they decided to move her downstairs from the ICU into a regular hospital room.  However the doctors still didn’t expect her to make it through the night.   A little after 4pm my sisters and I headed home for a little break and nap.  I headed back over to the hospital around 6.30pm.  Around 8pm, despite the morphine, she woke up enough and began to talk for the first time all day.  She told us she wants to go home and asked questions.

Today she has been improving throughout the day.  She’s more talkative (and more insistent on going home).  She doesn’t however want to go home just to die.  She’s fighting with all she has.  The doctors were all happily surprised she survived the night.  Now they are busy figuring out what med’s they are going to restart to help give her the tools she needs to fight the things afflicting her.  If she continues to improve over the next few days…she’ll likely be released from the hospital and at least get to move to a rehab facility where she’ll be able to continue her recovery.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2007/the-joys-of-eldercare/