A couple of months ago, my family got a call that my grandma was taking my grandpa to the hospital in Springfield, OR, because he was having issues, and they were afraid he had a stroke. After a cat scan they found that my grandfather had a massive brain tumor, and it was Cancer. This came to us as a huge shock. My grandfather’s family has a history of heart attacks, and that has always been the issue with his siblings. He was the only Edwards left in his immediate family, outliving all of his siblings and parents. So, he always watched his diet and did what he could to keep his heart healthy. But Cancer?
He decided to have the surgery to remove the tumor, as much as possible from his brain. After the procedure the doctor was happy that he was able to get about 95% of the tumor out, and said he’d fight the rest with Chemo and Radiation treatments. My grandpa was ready to fight the battle and try to give himself a little more time to be with his family. The doctors said it was a pretty viscious cancer and the surgery and cancer treatments would be buying him some time. But ultimately the Cancer could just become to powerful to maintain, and he might have 3 mos. to a year. My family had to swallow the truth, that Grandpa might not be around much longer.
Last week the day after his last radiation treatment, he went into the hospital. He had caught pneumonia. We spent the week in the hospital with him, and then early Sunday morning, on November 7th, my dear Grandpa John lost his battle. It was sooner than any of us had anticipated, but we were so grateful that we were able to be there with him the whole time. The last words my grandfather said to me were that I looked beautiful, and that he loved me. I feel so fortunate that I got to talk to him and tell him that I love him and hold his hand the whole time. I also feel fortunate that last year I was able to buy him the Christmas Present he’d wanted since he was a little boy, a Daisy Red Ryder BB Gun, in vintage packaging with a comic book enclosed. Seeing his face light up and his eyes fill up with tears last Christmas felt like the perfect Christmas, and a great last Christmas with my Grandpa.
I will miss him so much, but he will always be in my heart, and someday I’ll get to share stories about him to my kids when I have them. My friends and family during this time have really reached out to me and my family, and it just makes me feel that much better to know how loved we are, and that we have people who are there for us in this hard time. So thank you. Your willingness to just listen or be there for hugs an tears, has been helping to fill the empty feeling in my heart.
I can’t believe you are really gone. I know you are in a much better place, and without any pain. I hope you know how much you will be missed and how many people love you. You made a huge impact on this Earth while you were here, and have touched so many peoples lives, including mine. I’ll never forget our many camping trips, the first time you taught me how to fly fish and tie my own flies. The holidays at your and Grandma’s house all those years in Klamath Falls, and later in Reedsport. Remembering how when I’d come down for a couple weeks in the summer Grandma and I would always make lunch for you and set the table for when you came home for lunch from work. Getting to eat our ice cream and watch movies in the evening all snuggled on the couch. The times you took me to the Dairy Farms on your work visits to clients, and letting me play with the baby dairy calves, as they’d suck on my thumb. Seeing how happy you were the day you were able to renew your vows with Grandma. And how happy I could make you when I gave you your Red Ryder. There are so many memories and moments in my life I’ll never forget of you. I feel so grateful to have had the honor of being YOUR granddaughter. I see you in my Dad so much, and everyday I will see you in him. He is as great of a man as he is today because he had you as a father, and for that I am so grateful. Thank you for all the memories, and all the big hugs and kisses. I will miss our “Devan Sandwiches”, but will be excited when I get to get one from you when I see you again.
I love you forever and will miss you everyday.
Your oldest Granddaughter,