Monday, May 12, 2008

A sad day

Grandpa Alvin with his only Great Grandchild.

Yesterday, on mothers day, Grandpa Alvin passed away. He was 88 years old. He was living at home with his Brother in law, Babe, fairly independent up until a week ago Sat. Actually the day of Anthony's dedication was the day he nearly fell at home and went into the hospital. The following Monday they did an ERCP and took a biopsy of a tumor they recently discovered near his pancreas. The pathology report confirmed that it was cancerous and in an advanced stage. Surgery was not an option. He was in the hospital for 7 days and then discharged home with hospice care on Friday. He died peacefully and pain free at home Sunday afternoon, just 5 days after being diagnosed. He never even knew he had cancer. We will all miss him very much.

He was such a kind man, always happy to have you stop by and say hello even if only for a few minutes. Whenever I would stop by he would always ask me to stay for dinner. His caregiver pre-made plates of food and left them in the fridge and he would always insist there was an extra one in there that I could have. I always had to remind him that I was a vegetarian and he'd say "oh yeah, that's right. I always forget."

Alvin lived just down the road from us but you know how life gets busy and you don't always make the time you should to spend with family. Well that is sort of the case here. We tried to stop by and visit and take him out to eat once in a while, but now looking back I wish we would have done it more often. I'm thankful that just a week before he went into the hospital Todd and I stopped over for a visit with Anthony. I made Todd install his window A/C unit because the house was so hot. We sat around the kitchen table and visited for a while and he got to hold Anthony while I helped Todd. We invited him over to our house the following Saturday for the baby dedication, he was really looking forward to it, I wish he could have been able to come over and visit with all the family just one last time while he was feeling good.

I used to take Brewster over there and drop him off to visit him and keep him company. They became fast friends and Brewster loved going over there, the two of them would sit in the recliner and nap all day. One time I was over at the farm and Brewster was running around and I wasn't paying attention. Before I knew it he was lost and we put out a search for him. Everyone stopped working to look for Brewster. After about 20 minutes of searching we decided to go down the street to Grandpa Alvins place and there was Brewster, sitting on the front porch on Alvins lap. He had found his way there all by himself. Whenever I would go to pick up Brewster and take him home I literally had to carry him out because he would not leave willingly. I don't know who was more attached to the other. Saturday night before he passed away I took Brewster over to see him and put him up on the bed with him. Alvin reached out to pet him and Brewster curled up next to him and layed down for for their last nap together.

4 Generations: Todd and his mom Janice and Grandpa Alvin with baby Anthony

Grandpa Alvin and Great Uncle Babe with Anthony and Brewster.


Tina in CT said...

Sorry to hear about Grandpa Alvin. He was fortunate to have family always around him and a loving 4 legged visitor (Brewster). Luckily he never knew about the cancer and more importantly, he did not suffer with pain.

How sweet that Brewster loved visiting there so much. He knew a good thing and an inviting lap.

I am sorry for your loss.

Rachael said...

So sad that everything happened so quickly. I'm glad he didn't suffer and it sounds like he lived a very good life and was well loved.

PrincessGreen17 said...

He sounds like a really sweet man. I got a little teary reading about his relationship with Brewster!

Francie said...

I'm glad I called you today and was able to make it to the viewing. That's so sad. Todd's mom kept holding on to me when I would hug her. It was so sad.
I remember visiting him the first time in the nursing home with Janice and playing Rummy with him and visiting him at the hospital while you all were in Australia. I was glad to have such good times with him, and it's really sad that he's gone.

Natalie said...

I'm glad we don't have very many grandparents, it's too sad when they die! Nice reminder to do things with those we care about even when we think we are busy because they could be gone tomorrow and it would be so sad to know they were lonely for compaby.

Mandy Lou said...

So sorry for your loss - the photos of the four generations is a wonderful remembrance.