I believe that everything happens for a reason. God has put us all on this earth and has a purpose for us; while we are achieving this purpose, he places tension and relief in our path. We usually don’t get to experience them both at the same time, but God has put them in our life for a reason. In this particular case I will be discussing what happened to my Grandpa and why I think it happened.
In 2005, my Grandpa was diagnosed with ALS, a disease that deteriorates the muscles. None of us knew how long he would live but thereafter we took each day, month, and year spent with him as a blessing. He ended up living for three years with this disease, which was fortunate for us but I know some have lived longer and many live for a shorter time. He past away a year ago this past February. Through this disease, so many things have resulted and made an impact on my life.
First of all, my boyfriend and I have a much closer relationship because of the disease. My boyfriend, Kevin, knew how much this disease hurt me when I saw my Grandpa from time to time. Every time I went to visit my Grandpa he only got worse. The disease started out by making him fall (he started losing muscles in his legs, so he was very unstable on them) so there were many times he had new burses on his face, arms, etc. Then he was using a cane that escalated to a walker and eventually became a wheelchair. During this time he also struggled getting in an out of chairs to where my Mom or Grandma had to pick him up and move him (I was the last one to move him, on a Sunday, from his chair to his bed where he passed on a Wednesday). Back to what I was saying, every time I visited him I saw myself losing another part of him and it hurt so much but my boyfriend always tried to go with me so it wouldn’t be as hard on me. When we were visiting I really tried not to show my emotional side because my Grandpa didn’t want us to look at him differently than we had before. So as soon as I got into the vehicle to go home, with Kevin driving, I would start crying. Kevin would let me cry and then we would start talking about the visit, which would make me cry more but I was able to get it out rather than hold all the pain inside. During these drives I really opened up to Kevin and he also opened up to me more so than we ever had before. I think God planned my Grandpa’s disease having this positive outcome in mind.
Another positive outcome was that my family became closer. We started out as trying to get together once a month on a Sunday to visit in the afternoon and have a good time. This was started so we could all make memories to remember our Grandpa by. This worked for the first year but then it became hard for us all to pick one day of the month to meet on, with having three of the five grandchildren in college and working, it made it very difficult for us all to be there at the same time so we just started coming as we could. During the first Christmas of knowing we had family portraits taken, at the house. Through all of this, we all became a lot closer as a family, yes we are a small family but we became closer than I ever remembering. My aunt would call me just to see how I was doing and I would do the same towards her; and we still do occasionally. This, in my mind has become another positive result of my Grandpa’s disease.
There is another positive effect, I find from this disease. My mom had been trying to go across seas for a job but due to my Grandpa’s condition she did not feel that she could handle going away and not being able to come back for his funeral. So she ended up staying in the States to help my Grandma. I think this was the best decision she ever made because if she had gone away she probably would have hurt my Grandpa so much that it would have killed him. We also feel that God gave him the choice of when to die. My mom helped him so much and of his three children she was the one with the closest bond to him during this disease, and once everyone left on that Wednesday morning he chose to take his last breath with my mom in the room with him.
Yes there were a lot of negative results but I have chosen not to think of them as being negative, I try to look for all the good that God has blessed my family and I with in this situation. My whole family even sees his death as a positive thing because of how much he was suffering. Due to this whole experience I have changed my outlook on life in a few ways that are not mentioned; but also in the way that I truly believe that God places things in our lives, no matter good or bad, for a reason. I have just chosen to take this negative disease that killed my Grandpa and see its positive results.