The Thursday before Jaina's party my grandpa found out he might have cancer. We went on with the party, steeling ourselves for the possible fight ahead. On Monday he found out that it was, indeed, cancer, and that it was inoperable. By the following Monday he was gone.
We had one week to wrap our minds around his sickness, his death, and the space he would leave in our lives.
That week was spent almost entirely at the hospital, and I am so thankful for the privilege of being a stay-at-home mom and having the time to be there. We sat with him as he slipped into a coma, and we talked, laughed, and cried together.
Having only one week to say goodbye was difficult for all of us, but there is so much to be thankful for. He was spared the usually excruciating pain of pancreatic cancer. He didn't have to go through months or years of painful and exhausting treatments. The family was spared many of the difficult decisions. We were all able to remember him as he always was; a funny, crazy, honorable, strong man.
Everyone has a story about Pappap. He made quite an impression wherever he went. He had an extendable fork that he would carry in his suit pocket. He loved to bring it out at restaurants and pretend to pick at the food on strangers' tables (much to the grandkids' embarrassment, of course). He also carried a whistle which he would blow when it was time to go, or just to get people's attention. ; )
He and Mimi took two trips to China, a trip to Hong Kong, and two trips to Thailand to visit us. He once figured out how to pack a full turkey in dry ice so we could have an American Thanksgiving. Pretty sure that wouldn't fly with TSA now. ; )
The first time Zach met him was at a family cook-out where he dropped his pants just to prove that he was, indeed, wearing his American flag boxers!
I usually keep these posts pretty light and centered on home and baby things. However, I really felt the need to stop and remember Pappap before I could get my head back into decor tutorials and shopping recaps. Thanks for listening to some of my grandpa's stories. He left quite the legacy, and I'm so proud to be Harry Sprenkle's granddaughter.