Grandpa O'Neel

My Grandpa O’Neel passed away on Friday. He was 90 years old, and for the last several years he had been slowly deteriorating. A couple of weeks ago he fell down and cracked some ribs, and I guess that was the beginning of the end. He went into the hospital last week because he was no longer able to support his own weight. I only visited him once while he was still conscious in the hospital. A nurse came to draw blood while I was there, and as she was leaving with a vial of blood he called after her, “You have fun with that now.” He always had a good, though sometimes dry, sense of humor. On Tuesday he began to have problems breathing. The nurses in the ICU said he probably wouldn’t make it through the night, and they were keeping him medicated in an effort to keep him comfortable. I visited him late that night with my mom, aunt, and sister. He wasn’t conscious, and it was difficult watching him struggle to breathe. I don’t think he ever fully regained consciousness after that night, which I suppose is a good thing. His father, my great-grandfather, died on Christmas Eve a long time ago, and my mom was half-expecting Grandpa to last until the 24th, but he died on December 23rd, only a few hours after being moved from the hospital to a nursing home. My family was never very openly emotional, and I think his passing was met with relief that he was no longer simply enduring the end of life. I wasn’t super close to Grandpa, but I always felt a connection with him–I notice a lot of traits in myself that came from him and that side of the family. I’ll miss him.

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