Running for my Paps

I knew that when my dad called me and sounded the way he did that something bad had happened.  I already knew what he was going to tell me before the words came out.  My Grandpa, Paps, has been ready to cross over for some time now.  He has been struggling ever since my Grandma passed away 14 years ago.

I was surprised to find out that he is still holding on even though medication is the only thing pumping his heart and a machine is forcing him to breathe.  I can only hope that he is not in pain and that he will find peace soon.  I am sure that my Grandma is waiting for him.

The first thing I wanted to do when I found out the news was to go for a run.  That is the only activity I know that allows me to think, while keeping me busy at the same time.  I do the dishes to get my mind off things, but that just isn’t very productive.  If I can think while engaging in activity, then I feel I can handle a situation better.

As I ran, I thought about my last phone conversation with Paps.  I am not sure why it always comes back to that last conversation, but it does for me.  I talked to him about 2 weeks ago which was only a few days shy of his 90th birthday.  He often talks about the past and every time I talk to him (which was never often enough) he always brought up the day we went for a walk on the beach.  It was an unusual day for him (and for me too I suppose) because I suddenly turned towards him and told him I wanted to join the Coast Guard.  He was utterly baffled because I had never, ever mentioned anything about the Coast Guard before (nor any service for that matter).  That thought had never crossed my mind until that day when we walked down the beach and I glanced over at a Coast Guard boat in the water.  Well, I did follow through with what I said, but that is another story for another time in a different blog.

I do relive that moment every time I talk to Paps.  He also enjoys reminiscing about all of the experiences we shared together when I was a child.  Back then, I was a very lucky only granddaughter so my grandparents spoiled me.  They would take me on many travels, including Pennsylvania and Florida (who would have thought I would end up back in Florida?).  My Paps was wild back then.  I vividly remember when he took me to Disney World and convinced me to ride on a fast train.  He said it wouldn’t be scary at all.  Let me just say that I was not happy with the outcome.  I had just eaten before the ride and ended up losing my stomach contents in a trash can at the end of the ride.  He just stood there and laughed at me.  Thanks Paps…

My Paps was also big on “going out for a bite” (that is always how he worded it).  He loved going out to eat and that is probably why I eat out way too much.  Almost every morning he would go out for a donut and coffee.  I loved it when he would take me.  I am surprised I didn’t become an obese child.  I am not sure how he just celebrated his 90th birthday because he seems to get by without drinking water.  Yes, my Paps does not drink water.  He even tells those WWII stories about when he would offer his canteen of water to the other soldiers because he wouldn’t drink it.  I guess he just drinks enough coffee to fulfill his water intake for the day??

Lucky for me, I have many more memories that I will reflect on during my runs.  Thanks Grandma and Paps for all your love and everything you taught me about the world.  I hope you are together again soon.

And I used to call him “Pap-Pap.”  At some point I figured I  was too old to call him that so I started to call him “Paps.”  🙂


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