My Grandpa, Jim Hubert Tycholaz, passed away on July 20, 2016 at 2:50am.
My Grandpa, Ivan Norman Wagner, passed away on September 8, 2016 at 11:20am. He was 82 years old and would have turned 83 on September 17, 2016.
I have some memories that I would like to share about both of them. I’ll start with my Grandpa Jim.
We bet on horse races when I went to visit him once (he lived in Winnipeg, MB). I won quite a bit of money and he joking called me a “rich b**ch”. He gave me the money that he won from the races so that I really was a “rich b**ch”.
I remember talking to him about why my parents were divorced. I really wanted them to just get along! He talked me through it and told me that sometimes parents just can’t get along. What really mattered is that they both love me.
He would send me Christmas cards every year and I would call him to thank him. I didn’t call him this past year and I really should have. I didn’t know he would be gone this year.
I have more memories with my Grandpa Ivan because I was around him more. Both he and my Grandma practically raised me for the first few years of my life. After my parents got divorced my Grandparents looked after me while my Mom was in school (she was 19 when she had me). Here are some memories.
Every morning before Grandpa would go to work he would call me over to the door and let me tie his shoes for him. I tied them the best I could at four years old. Then Grandma would pick me up in her arms and her, Grandpa, and I would share a “three-hug”. I would watch him go off to work and run off and play until he came home. He told Grandma that I tried his shoes so well that they never came untied while he was working.
I always sat in the middle seat of Grandpa’s old truck. I would put my seat belt buckle in his spot before he got in the truck so that when he tried to fasten his seat belt he couldn’t do it (and we would joke around about it). I would run my finger across the numbers on the clock so that they would jumble up, and Grandpa let me use his CB radio to “talk” to Anne Murray (her music was on a tape in the truck).
When Grandma gave us ice cream for dessert we would stir it, giggle when she got annoyed by it, and then try to hide it while still stirring the ice cream.
I was named after my Grandma (Calindy Jean). Grandpa thought that he should have someone named after him too! When I was given a baby cabbage patch doll dressed in blue, Grandpa lovingly named it “Calijah Ivan”.
I tried to name my first cat “Ivan Waganer” after Grandpa but Mom and Dad said no so we named him “Snowball” instead.
Grandpa taught me a car trick where he would speed up to 40km/hr in the village, get just past the pond, put the car in neutral, turn it off, and coast all the way home.
When Grandpa would drive Mom’s standard car she would tell him to use the clutch when shifting gears. He would assure her that he would, then turn to me as we were driving and say, “shh, don’t tell your Mother” and promptly shift gears without using the clutch.
The day before Grandpa went into the Hospital I went to his place for a visit. Grandma told him that Ticu (my husband) and I had went on a trip to Canmore a few days earlier. Grandpa and I sat together for a long time that night and talked about Canmore while looking at a map on my phone. He told me all about the places he’s been to in Canmore: the Tim Hortons, the General Hospital, a diner that he would go to after Church that serves delicious food, etc. We “traveled” on the map along the highway and he showed me several places where he would stop when he was driving semi-trucks and told me memories of certain roads and places. He was so excited and energetic, and we had a fantastic time together.
I spent the night at the Hospital with my Grandpa Ivan on September 7, 2016. He had broken his hip which triggered a heart attack and some seizures. He had a grand mal seizure in the Hospital and some small seizures after that. When we got to the Hospital he was on a lot of morphine. He had fluid around his heart and when the nurses tried to reposition him so the skin wouldn’t come off his back from laying on it for so long, he cried out in pain because of his hip. They couldn’t repair it because if they did, he would have died during surgery. His condition was downgraded from M2 (giving medication to try and help him recover) to C1 (keeping him comfortable and on one medication until he passed away).
It’s been pretty tough so far. Losing one Grandparent was hard enough, but losing two is even harder. I’ve been finding it hard to eat and sleep. The smallest things will cause me to burst into tears. I’ve had to rearrange lessons with my students while trying to sound professional (thank goodness for email because without it I would be a bawling mess on the phone). My other job has graciously giving me two working days off and I’m expected to be back there on Tuesday night. I will go in but I know it’s going to be extremely tough.
The funeral is set for September 15, 2016. As the oldest in my family and as the oldest in his family, my cousin and I will be carrying the urn at the funeral. I’m really not looking forward to it. I just want my Grandpa back. I know and understand that he suffered for 6.5 years (he had a bad stroke in 2010 and was confined to a wheelchair, lost sight in his eye, and lost the usage of his left hand) and that he is with the Lord now, seeing out of both eyes in vibrant colour (he’s been colourblind his whole life), and possibly flirting with the angels (he loved to tease the nurses that came to take care of him; he had an amazing sense of humour).
I’ll keep you posted on what happens this week. I’ve taken to loom knitting quite a few things in order to cope with everything going on. It feels like life is going too fast and I can’t get back in control. When I’m ready, I’ll show you what I’ve made.
R.I.P Grandpa Jim and Grandpa Ivan. I miss you both so very much. I’m happy you’re both not suffering anymore and can be happy.
Thanks for reading.