Memorial Day Weekend 2010 was a bittersweet one for us. I've mentioned it before, but my Grandpa is sick. A few weeks ago he was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia which has developed out of myelodysplastic syndrome. He has been a fighter and despite all he has been through he had the strength to make it through round one of chemo.
Last weekend my cousins Kristin and Erin flew in from San Diego with one of Erin's sons (Nolan) to make the journey down to visit Grandpa. Kristin, Erin and Nolan flew into Milwaukee - we hung out at our apartment until the boys started to get tired and then made the trip to Knoxville, IL.
Our family has a lot of wonderful memories from the area in which our Grandparents now live. For the majority of my years growing up my Grandparents had a wonderful house in the lake community of Oak Run. (http://www.oak-run.com/) Our summers were filled with fishing, tubing, playing on the beach Grandpa built, boating, swinging on the tire swing, learning to water ski, riding bikes, hanging in party cove, learning to golf - our winters were filled with holidays, ice skating, sledding and so much more. We took a drive out to Oak Run - drove by the house our Grandparents built - talked about telling the people on the dock our Grandpa built it was ours not theirs and stopped at the community beach to give Nolan a feel for our past.
Grandpa had a pretty good day on Saturday and I feel completely fortunate that Kristin and Erin were able to spend some quality time with him. Distance just hasn't afforded them the opportunities to spend as much time with him as I have been blessed with.
He has been in isolation and despite the desire - he was unable to meet Nolan. After church on Sunday we decided we were too close for him not to get to see him. This photo breaks my heart a little but in all my life I will never forget the smile on my Grandpa's face when he saw Nolan for the first time. You can see Grandpa through the window meeting another Great-Grandson!
On Sunday Kristin, Erin and I spent some time making a photo collage to try to spruce up Grandpa's room - we visited for a bit longer and then it was time for us to begin the journey back to Milwaukee and for them back to San Diego. Here is Grandpa with two of five granddaughters: Kristin and Erin
It is with a very heavy heart that I write today that despite a fighting spirit the Leukemia is winning the battle. Tomorow Grandpa will be heading home where we will begin receiving Hospice care. It is hard to fight the tears rolling down my face as we prepare to help transition Grandpa into the next phase of his journey. While I am certain he is going to a place of peace and that his journey by no means is ending I selfishly will miss him in so many ways. I've started a blog entry just for him - but I'm not ready to share it and maybe never will be. But for today - Mr. Tom Sacco you have changed me forever - I love you - may God bring you peace and your suffering be eased. I love you Grandpa.