Well, to start out with, my grandfather is in his late 70's and has smoked since he was under 18. He stopped a few years back after trying for years to quit. But the damage, had of course, been done. He was diagnosed with emphazema and strongly encouraged to use an oxygyn tank. My grandpa, being the proud man he is and has always been, refused. But the pain just got worse. A few weeks ago he decided the pain was too great and went to the doctor. He was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. The cancer had grown so long that what could have been operable became entangled with multiple vital organs. As many people can probably guess, emphazema and chemo do not play well together. He started the rounds and responded ok and we all took a breath of fresh air. Then the night before last my mother got the call from my grandmother that she had to call an ambulence for my grandpa and he was diagnosed at the hospital with pnumonia. He likely does not have long left in this world.
I was closer to these grandparents than my other ones who had died by 2002. Robert Swafford is a good man. He was a strict man but so fatherly. He was a navy medical person and served many years in vietnam. He has one son, 4 daughters, 7 grandchildren, 8 great-grandchildren.
I am very sad that my son (7 months) will never get to meet him. He got the chance recently to meet his fathers only living grandparents, and I had hoped that he could meet mine. But all I can hope for now is that my mother and her mother get through this ok. I have no idea what my grandmother intends to do now. Will she live on her own or move in with family? I dare not ask my mom she has too much on her plate right now. I have never heard her nor seen her cry in all my 23 years except when she told us that he had cancer and I heard it in her voice when she called me about him being hospitalized.
I dont have the luxury to break down. My son will be up in a few hours and I cant be sad when he wakes up. I dont want him to get that vibe off me.
Robert Swafford, brother, husband, father, grandfather, greatgrandfather to many died Monday October 6th in Moline Illinois.