My grandfather passed away early this morning. It wasn’t unexpected as he was sent home from the hospital with hospice care a few weeks ago.
I saw him around Christmas time after he had his knee surgery. He didn’t like the rehab facility, but he was doing
ok. A few days after, and before
I came back to Oswego, I saw him at home. We spoke a bit in Italian and English,
but as always not much. He asked his normal questions and told me the regular career path he always had. The new thing he asked, as a joke, was, “Sei professore matematica?” (Are you a math professor?). I explained that I study history, but it was close enough.
I went to Canada for a week and not too long after I came back my dad told me he got me a flight to come down to New York. He said he wasn’t sure if my grandpa would be around much longer and when school started again, he knew how hard it would be for me to come down. I visited him last weekend or so and said my goodbyes.
It was hard being there mostly because he didn’t know I was there. He was trapped in his own body. He no longer spoke and could only move his right arm. The tumor he had removed 4 years ago grew back, incapacitating him.
It was hard knowing that was the last time I would see him alive. I told everyone I was sorry for being so far away not able to help. They said that my grandpa wanted everyone to go to college and concentrate on that. Don’t worry about things at home. So I kisses him on the forehead and squeezed his hand and said, “I’ll see you soon.”
I was able to take some photos home with me from when he was a young man and from when I was a kid. Below, is a picture of my grandpa and I when I was about 3 or 4 years old at their old place in East Islip. I have a lot of memories with him and I’m happy that I have so many. I’ll miss him, but I’m glad he’s no longer trapped.