Let me begin this update with an apology for being offline for so long. We lost our much-loved Paw-Paw Chuck recently; my husband's step-dad. From the day Paw-Paw and Grammy discovered he was sick with stage 4 small cell lung cancer until the day he passed was just one month. We barely had time to prepare ourselves or Spawn before he was already gone. Maybe I'll write more about that experience later, but it's too fresh and too raw for me to touch on it right now or share my thoughts, so I'd like to give it time. I'd like to be able to write about this man who meant so much to all of us the way that he deserves - without me sobbing and blubbering all over my keyboard while I try to sum up what he meant to us and how his life and death affected us. Give me time. =)
I'd like to move on with Spawn's awesomesauce-filled summer and share what we've been doing to try to keep things light for him. Thanks for indulging me and understanding if it's not ALWAYS light. =)
Day 12 (June 13): CSA Pick-up Day & a Visit to Klein's Dairy and Creamery.
Day 13 (June 14): Christmas in June - Polar Express to the Rescue! We got out Spawn's Christmas train. The really good one that Poppy Neil bought him two Christmasses ago that only comes out for Christmas. Christmas in June. You'd think I'd given him the keys to a toy store the way his eyes lit up when I told him we were getting his train out. =D
Day 14 (June 15): Backyard Rainbow & Crayola Colored Bubbles (in green). It's hard to see, but there really is a rainbow in this first picture!
Day 15 (June 16): Spawn went for a run with the dog after we heard Paw-Paw was rapidly declining and had maybe just a week or two left and that he was at home with hospice care. This ugly dog...how can I ever show her or tell her how grateful I am for what she did for Spawn that day?..The day we told him how sick Paw-Paw was and began preparing him for Paw-Paw's impending death. She was just what Spawn needed - an emotional lobotomy for a very sad little boy who couldn't even begin to wrap his head around losing his other best friend so soon after the first. (His godmother's pitbull, Hank, died just last November and he and Paw-Paw were Spawn's kindred spirits.)
Day 16 (June 17): Storm-watching with Daddy. There was a lightning storm to the north of us over the mountains, but it was really still nice enough for us to stand outside watching (close to the house, just in case, though ;)).
Day 17 (June 18): We said good-bye to Paw-Paw just minutes before he died at home on this Saturday afternoon surrounded by his wife, children, and shrieking, playing grandchildren. We thought we were going to have a fun afternoon visit; that Paw-Paw was still awake and talking and it was just going to be a fun family day. We thought it could be several more weeks before we were going to lose Paw-Paw.
When we arrived, we realized how bad things were. Chuck's eyes were closed and he was no longer speaking, though he smiled and responded with facial expressions to the things we said. His breathing was labored and he was restless. We'd bought Father's Day cards for Chuck in an effort to get Spawn to write the things he would have trouble saying to Paw-Paw when he needed to say his good-byes. Thank goodness we did. We said our good-byes almost as soon as we arrived. Spawn read his card to Paw-Paw and we each had a private moment to say our good-byes as well. I think he was just holding on until we arrived and I'm so grateful he did. But...this post is really not about Paw-Paw. It's about Spawn and his cousin and how the sound of their joyful playing with the hoops in the yard and learning to snap their fingers was the last thing Paw-Paw heard before he left us.