Saturday, March 14, 2009

Hanna’s Dad

Hanna (Little Sister) called me to come get her.  I talked to one of her Mom's (her two aunts are raising her) and found out her Grandfather, who Hanna calls her Dad, went to the Dr because he thought he had the flu. The diagnosis is last stage of colon cancer. 

There's nothing they can do but make him comfortable. He has maybe two months to live.  I went to pick her up and hospice has set everything up for him there but he looked so bad. Hospice is there 24 hours a day. I saw him a week ago and he looked fine and he was working in the garage building some shelves.  This week he's dying. 

I just played it by ear with Hanna.  She is hurting I know.  Her parents died when she was two and her grandpa is really the only Dad she has had.  I told her we could have dinner here or go out to Brandon to meet Bill for dinner out. She wanted to see Bill and tell him about her Grandpa so we did. It was heartbreaking.  She just hung onto Bill like she did me.  She is usually more reserved with Bill.  Bill asked her how her Grandpa was and she began to tell him what had happened and she finally laid her head down on the table like it was just too much. I told her she never had to talk about it unless she wanted to.  I gave her ideas of what to say to people like, "This isn't a good time for me to talk about that, can we talk about something else".  But she insisted she did want to finish the story about how they found out about her grandpa and she did.  Oh, my.  This is so hard on her but she really does understand what is happening and I think she is prepared as well as a nine year old can be.  She said she understands that her Grandpa is old and he will die but she just wished that she could have some more time to talk to him.  I didn't, of course, tell her that her Grandpa was younger than I am!  I notified Big Brother/Big Sisters so they may be of help.  

She kept saying what if something happens to my Mom's, what will I do, who will take care of me. I told her that her aunt's were very young to be Mom's and that it was unlikely that they would die for a very very long time.  She understands that but I know this worries her.  We made cards for her Grandfather and she took her painting home that she had entered into the Strawberry Festival so she was excited about getting back home to show everyone her work and give her grandpa the cards. 

I kind of expect a call any time though.  I do know that he is in a lot of pain right now if he's not sleeping. 

His family is down from Georgia and I'm trying to imagine where they are all sleeping, but I know they belong to a big church and I'm thinking they are helping out. 

I'll take a ham and some side dishes tomorrow and will find out how he is then. This little girl has had so many losses in her life. I feel so bad for her right now.



Mary said...

Judy, that is just sosad about Hanna's grandfather. Heartbreaking. I feel so bad for her. She has dealt with so many losses at such a young age. I am so glad that you and Bill were able to be there for her as she told the story of her grandfather. I know that the two of you were people that know just how to be with her in such a situation. I do think there are angels in this life, and I think Hanna was brought into YOUR life for a reason, and you are angels to her. Hanna and her family will be in my thoughts and prayers. And I know YOU will continue to be an angel to Hanna.

Judy said...

Thank you, Mary, your comment touches me deeply. I have told Hanna how many people would be praying for her dad. Thank you for your kind words.

Diane T said...

Teddi, how very sad for Hanna. You handled the situation so well for her, though, and Bill too. I'm glad she had the opportunity to express herself. It is shocking that this descended upon her Grandpa/Dad so fast. That makes it harder. We will all pray and send good thoughts to help relieve his suffering. Hugs to Hanna, and all her family, which included you and Bill.

Victoria said...

What a big blessing that Hanna has you and Bill through Big Brother Big Sister - so much loss - and you are so right with her - real with her, helping her be with her pain as it is.