It started on January 23rd, when Grandpa was diagnosed with cancer. His health deteriorated quickly, and he died on February 21st. Grandpa is the first grandparent I've lost, and I've had a hard time with it. The hardest thing has been to watch my Dad go through losing his dad.
Grandpa turned 78 on Wednesday, January 22nd, and then died early the next morning. I flew up to Kansas City on Saturday and stayed for the viewing on Sunday and then the funeral on Monday. I loved being able to spend the time with Mom & Dad and my brother and sisters who were able to make it, but the whole trip felt surreal. Every time we talked about going to "Grandma's house" it felt like we were making a mistake.
A photograph I took of Grandpa in July 2010 was used on the back of the program. It's how I remember him best - with a grin on his face and a twinkle in his eye, right in the middle of telling a joke.
A snowstorm delayed my return home, so I didn't get to come back to Jamie, Gisele, and Miles until Wednesday night. Jamie had let me know while I was gone that Miles was sick, but it was worse than I thought, and I got the full impact of it when I walked in the door Wednesday night.
Monday (the day I was originally supposed to come home), Miles had been sent home from Pre-K/daycare because he was complaining of not feeling good, and had a bit of a rash around his mouth, as well as some redness and tenderness under his arms and in his groin area. Jamie took him to the doctor, who said it was something viral, and advised a dose of benadryl, followed by Allegra the next day. She said that should have him feeling better. Neither Miles nor Jamie slept much Monday night, and Miles's rash just got worse throughout Tuesday. By Wednesday morning, he had open sores/blisters around his mouth, so Jamie took him back to the doctor. This time, she tested him for strep (which was positive) and gave him an antibiotic shot, some oral steroids, and a cream for the rash. She said he should be feeling a lot better in 24 hours, and told Jamie to give her a call the next morning (Thursday) with an update.
When I walked in the door Wednesday night and saw Miles, I had to hold back tears. He looked like he had some form of leprosy - there were open sores covering his mouth and lower cheeks, and he had open blisters elsewhere on his body. He was also covered in calamine lotion (the only thing that brought him any relief), so what was visible of his arms and legs was white. He hadn't slept the previous 2 nights, so he had dark purplish red circles around his eyes. Jamie wasn't looking much better, and broke down when I came in. We decided to try to make it through the night with him and evaluate everything in the morning, since the doctor said he should be feeling better then.
|Miles covered in calamine lotion on Monday, before things got bad.|
(to be continued)