Blogtember Day 11: Write about a memory you would love to relive.
For me, this was very easy. I would relive the time spent with my grandpa traveling the country.
|One of my favorite pictures of Papa and I. Destin, FL|
When I was 4 my grandpa was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. The doctors told him he had maybe 3 weeks to live, there was nothing they could do for him, and he needed to go home and tell his family goodbye.
This wouldn’t do for my big, strong, determined ‘Papa’. He fought to find new doctors that would at least give it a shot, and he finally found one. Dr. Al-Mefty in Little Rock said “It probably won’t work, but I’m willing to try.” And try he did. The tumor was the size of a large grapefruit that was totally wrapped and intertwined with his brain stem. It was too big and too detailed to work, but if my grandpa wanted to try, Al-Mefty was on board.
Dr. Al-Mefty gave me an extra 18 years with my grandfather. Not all of those years were good years, as anyone who has fought a losing battle with cancer can tell you. There were strokes, diabetes problems, balance problems, any problem you can think of, it happened. Most of these only occurred after the 4th reoccurring tumor.
Those first few years after the first surgery though, were good. They were so good. My grandparents bought a motorhome and for every school break they loaded my brother and I up in the motorhome and we hit the road. They would roll out a giant map of the US and let us take turns picking where we would go. We could go anywhere we wanted. And go we did.
I remember vividly snorkeling with my grandpa on a specific trip to Destin, FL, where he saw a fish hiding in the sand and he showed me how to “scare” it out of the sand so I could see it. We would laugh and swim, and build sand castles, and crab hunt at night. Every inch of him emanated an extreme positivity and gratefulness to be alive. He LIVED every day he was given, until the end.
Dr. Al-Mefty calls my grandpa his ‘Miracle Man’, because it shouldn’t have worked. He shouldn’t have lived. But he did. I truly believe he lived because he really wasn’t ready to die yet, and he wasn’t going to go when it wasn’t his time.
These were some of my favorite memories. We spent 4th of July at Mt. Rushmore, we camped in the Bad Lands, we had snowball fights in Taos, NM, and we watched seals in California. We saw tornadoes in Kansas, and the mountains of Colorado.