On the morning of December 10th, he was driving my aunt to the hospital for some testing. On the way, he felt extremely hot and his chest hurt where his pacemaker is located. They immediately went to the ER. With the cardiologist was standing next to him, he coded. It was amazing how this took place. When I saw him a few days after Christmas in the hospital, he was so miserable. His body had filled with fluid, he couldn't breathe, and could barely talk. Still, he talked enough to tell me that he didn't want to live that way. The doctors said he could live in a hospital hooked up to machines for up to a year. Papaw told me that he was ready to see Jesus. I told him there was a reason that all of this happened in this manner and it was God's decision on when he was going to die. Papaw said that he didn't know why. Afterwards, I realized why. He wanted everyone that was out of town to be able to say goodbye. My aunt in Seattle, cousin in California, and me. I live 400 miles away and because of my surgeries I haven't been to Kentucky in a year. I was able to talk to him, have him confide in me, and tell him I love him one more time.
Let me tell you a little about my grandfather. First of all, he was technically my step-grandfather, but you wouldn't know that. He loved me as if I was one of his blood grandchildren like Brandi, Meagon, Brandon... My biological grandfather died when my father was 4 years old. Papaw was kind to us though he and my grandmother, Muzzie, did not always get along, okay, they never got along outside of their faith. He had five children from his previous marriage (she died-48 years and 2 days before he died-after giving birth to my aunt) and my grandmother had 5 as well (only 2 were still living at home at the time of their marriage) so they had 10 children! I'm sure that was not easy for either of them. Blended families are not easy at all, especially when one of the parents is gone all week .Papaw was a truck driver at Overnight for several years. He loved it! He continued with another company making local runs for a few years after retirement from Overnight. It was so difficult for him when he had to finally retire.
Still, Papaw was my Papaw. I knew no different. He gave me the best bear hugs. That is honestly what I'll miss the most. He would spend time with me like when he would take his boat fishing I would sometimes go with him and swim near the boat, but not near his hook ;). He gave me advice on boys (they're horn dogs so stay away). Once when I was at Dairy Queen in their town (15 minutes from my house), I locked my keys in my car with the car running and he came and rescued me. Papaw loved to watch movies and if they weren't violent I would watch them with him. Papaw usually had a smile on his face, and he said it was because I made him happy, but that was just his nature. He was an overall good guy.
Both Muzzie and Papaw are devout in their love of the Lord. When he went into the hospital he told my aunts to call The 700 Club and their church, Southeast Christian, so they would pray for him. They both adore The Gaither's and Billy Graham. I gave them both as they were in separate places (he in the hospital, she in a nursing home) Nearing Home by Billy Graham. I had actually ordered it before his heart attack, not knowing how close he was to going home to heaven. I hope it brought him comfort in his last days.
To say that this man will be missed is a gross understatement. This man is cherished by so many. He's where he wanted to be...
I love you Papaw and will miss you so much. Heaven is a brighter place because of you. I look forward to seeing you again and the first thing you must do is give me a huge hug.