Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Going for a ride

on a super-duper roller coaster. Of fear, excitement, sadness, anticipation.
Last time I talked to you all the techs had just stabbed me for my second blood draw. Good-445. Almost double, looking good! Feel free to go to your normal kickboxing and karate classes, just don't get hit in the abdomen, and don't get into a car wreck on your way home. This part of the story to be cont...
On friday morning we headed up to Ohio to visit my family. My paternal gpa is dying of small cell cancer. He's in his mid 80's. He's one of 2 sons, his brother passed away several years ago. He knew Bob Evans-the sausage/restaurant guy. He signed up early to serve his country in the Air Force during WWII. When he came home my gparents married and moved to Cleveland, Ohio where my gpa opened a watch and jewelry repair store which he ran for 15 years. Grandpa Willis and Grandma Betty decided to grow their family, starting with my dad, Willis (Willy) Franklin Parsons, Jr., then Timothy (Timmy), Cindy, Pamela (Pammy), and a few years later James Christopher (Chrisy). After several years he closed up his shop, brought the supplies home, and found a job driving bus for the RTA (Rapid Transit Authority) in Cleveland. He was often requested to do special jobs like driving church groups, school groups. He said those were the best!

After working there for 25 years, they retired him out, and he went off to look for another job. The Plain Dealer is the large local paper for the Cleveland area and surrounding towns. My gpa's job was to walk downtown, building to building to pick up the ads from the local businesses and bring them back to be edited and taken to print in the Saturday and Sunday papers. Keep in mind that he worked this job from the ages of 61-76 in all seasons. And Downtown Cleveland is located on the banks of Lake Erie where they have lake effect snow throughout late fall and into early spring.

My gpa had surgery around this time to replace a valve in his heart. They used a pig valve transplant. This type is less trying on the patient due to some meds that don't have to be used, but it doesn't last as long, 5-15years on average. They are not used on younger patients, so my gpa was a perfect candidate, he was old, but strong. The day after his surgery at The Cleveland Clinic he was walking the halls, climbing the steps between floors, chatting with other patients, visiting with leaders of foreign countries and their bodyguards...yes, he was that type of man! He recovered quickly and completely and was released earlier than expected. The next 11 years were good, he remodeled the house using wood from the family farm in southern ohio, painted the home, added a back porch, and landscaped. He was faithful to complete the items on the "honey-do" list my gma came up with.

He was a great man of faith. Attending a local baptist church for his whole life. Serving as deacon for over 30 years. Always saying "Grace" everytime the family gathered together. This past June we surprised the whole family by popping in for a 5 day visit. We were able to pull together one of those family gatherings where there is food everywhere, people everywhere, tons of conversations, and a group of family members ranging in age from 10-85. Amazing!

This is my grandfather. I am the first born daughter of his first born son. And he is headed home to heaven tonight! God Speed Grandpa! Please kiss my first baby for me. I love you!

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