In loving memory

1:35 AM

C. 1990
May 2012
December 2012

Two days after my last post, my grandfather passed away. We buried him the day before Christmas Eve.

This entry is very personal. You will probably find it boring. But these are things I want to remember.

5 New Things I Learned About My Grampa
  1. He and my grandmother were high school sweethearts, and each other's first loves.
  2. He derived his own insulin sliding scale in the 1970's, without the aid of an endocrinologist. And he is no doctor -- he's a lawyer by profession, a Justice by title. He played with his insulin dosages and took note how a certain dose of insulin made his blood glucose decrease by how many points. Eventually, he arrived at the ratio 1 unit : 30 mg/dL. Until his last day on earth, he computed his own insulin dosage.
  3. He was the first one to suspect that one of his colleagues had diabetes. This colleague had lost 30 lbs in 2 months. Grampa advised a check-up and a blood sugar measurement. True enough, it was diabetes.
  4. He was very proud when I graduated med school with honors. He couldn't hear the graduation rites well, but he smiled big upon being shown my name in the program. I only heard this story during the wake.
  5. He wanted another great-grandchild, this time a boy. But he didn't want to tell my brother and his wife, for fear they might feel pressured. That always makes me smile.

5 Things I Never Want to Forget About My Grampa
  1. His huge, hearty laugh. Especially when he has fun at another's expense. ;p
  2. The way he claps his heavy hand on your shoulder in greeting, causing you to stumble forward.
  3. How he explains to me the pathophysiology of his diseases...often quoting Harrison's (16th ed.)! Sometimes I feel bad that I don't contribute anything new to his knowledge, because he basically reads the same medical textbooks I do.
  4. How he values brevity and accuracy in written work; morality and decency in actions.
  5. How he loves my Grandma. Even when he had to ambulate with the aid of a walker because he was in pain, he insisted on bringing my grandmother to the back seat of the car before going around to ride in the front passenger seat. I can still hear him saying, "Ibig kong kaharap ang Grandma mo," ("I wish to be facing your Grandma,") in the hospital.

5 Things I Am Thankful For
  1. We were able to give him a surprise party before he passed -- it was his last birthday.
  2. With my aunt s/p graduation, me s/p boards, and my brother s/p bar, we were able to spend more time with him before he was admitted.
  3. I was able to bond with him in his last few days at the hospital.
  4. He left us during the holidays. Christmas will never be the same again. But at least at this time, my brother is not yet working, I have a flexible study schedule, and my sister is on holiday. So we help each other in taking care of our grieving Grandma.
  5. He is now free from pain.

Grampa's passing was a big shock. He wasn't exactly in the pink of health, having lived with diabetes (and its accompanying complications) for 30 years. But he was religious in taking his medicines, in his dialysis sessions, in reading up on medical developments. We thought he still had years ahead. It was and still is devastating.

Slowly, slowly it's getting better -- a day can pass by without us crying. We can laugh longer. We can travel outside the house. But not a day passes by that we don't see him in everything we do.

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