I mentioned in my last post over two weeks ago that we were needing prayers for my papaw (yes, papaw, not pawpaw) for his heart surgery. On Monday, December 16th, my papaw was rushed to the hospital with breathing problems and it resulted in his Dr's agreeing that he should have open heart surgery (triple bypass and aortic valve replacement). I went to the hospital a few days before his surgery to spend some time with him, not knowing that would be the last time I truly got to spend time with the papaw I'll always remember.
Christmas Eve, we loaded the vehicle and headed to Mississippi for the hospital. Papaw made it through the night and was in CVR. My dad arranged with his nurse for us to come back as soon as we got there to see him, even though it wasn't visiting hours. That was when I was told how serious it really was. However, dad did ask him to open his eyes and he did and nodded to our comments and questions. If any of you are friends with me on Facebook, I'm sure you saw my updates every day.
Christmas Day didn't feel like Christmas. I'm not sure anyone really felt like celebrating because our minds were all focused on what was going on at the hospital. We did go visit my mom's side of the family for a few hours before heading back up to the hospital for the last visit of the night.
The day after Christmas, I got a text from my dad telling me that papaw was off the vent and he was talking. The Mr had planned to hunt, and I told him to go on that I would be fine going to the hospital alone. I think everyone's mood lightened up some knowing that even though his Dr's didn't think he would make it two hours past surgery, that he was awake, off the vent and pacemakers. They even commented that it wasn't their doing, it was definelty a divine intervention from above. And we knew that it was all the prayers our family and friends were sending up constantly for him. When it was my turn to visit, he was asking about the "deer slayer" (aka, the Mr) and I showed him our most recent pictures of AC and told him she had the Henson chubby cheeks. He laughed and cried, and I was so thankful to share that moment with him.
That Friday, the Mr joined me again for his visit. We were the only ones there for that timed visit so we got to spend the entire 30 minutes with him. He was in a lot of pain from coughing, but we had a great conversation. He and the Mr talked about hunting and we talked about the New Year coming up and all the changes that would be made in our family. He kept asking us who was going to rock AC when she was born and we told him he would. He just shook his head no, and at that point I think he knew that he would never get the chance to rock her. And that was hard for me to accept.
We left the next morning headed for North Mississippi to have Christmas with the Mr's side of the family. I didn't want to leave, but I knew I needed to go. Papaw had a major set back that day around noon, and God gave him another miracle. As soon as we got back Sunday afternoon we headed back up to the hospital for a visit. He was back on the vent and couldn't speak to us, but he opened his eyes and looked at me and nodded when I told him I loved him. That was the last time I saw his beautiful eyes or had any reaction from him to what I was saying. However, we continued to visit him the following two days.
On New Year's Eve, papaw was called home. I was blessed to have 32.5 years with him. But I will miss him every day! At his funeral, the preacher mentioned how he would ask papaw a question and he would just shake his head, but never say no. That's one of the things I'll always remember about him, that head shake of his.
Papaw was a very talented guitar player. He was in a band, and they played every Saturday night. As a matter of fact, the Mr and I joke that he was 84 and stayed up longer than we did, ever! He recorded a CD of his guitar playing a few years ago. And the Mr and I have decided that we will play that CD for AC at night for her to go to sleep with. While she might not have met her great grandfather here on Earth, she has a wonderful guardian angel watching over her from above.
I want to thank y'all for your prayers, texts, twitter and Facebook messages, etc over the past three weeks. They were felt and our entire family is very grateful.