February was tough. On top of struggling to focus in college I saw the deterioration of my grandfather and ultimately his passing. He was 88. He lived to a good age, and he’d be the first to tell you he never expected to live this long, but unlike the deaths of my father’s parents, the loss of my Grandpa hit me harder because his mind never gave out. He was still engaging, he was still joking and laughing, he was still himself.
When my paternal grandparents passed away they were both suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia. I knew that their passing meant they were finally at peace and they were no longer suffering. I didn’t feel that way about my Grandpa; he was only really suffering in his final days as his body began to give up. Whilst his heart, kidneys, and lungs began to give out he was still participating in a conversation. One of the final things he said was in response to a nurse who asked him, “How are you today, Mr. Smith?” His reply? “Still breathing.”
He faced death with a sense of humour and strength that many dream of. I’m going to miss my Grandpa.
February was also the month where I finally collected my friend Matt’s pool table from his former home. Before he passed away last year he said he would like me to have it. As there was never a written will I didn’t want to push the family for it, and actually never mentioned it to anyone aside from close family and friends. So when his mother contacted me saying she was selling the old house and wanted to pass on the table to somebody close to Matt I leapt at the chance to take it. Sadly, between my Grandpa’s illness, college, and the wettest winter on record, getting to the point where we could take the table was extremely challenging and stressful. Waterproofing a space, hiring a van, getting people to come and help… It was all very stressful. However the upshot is I now know that his table is safe and will now be cared for.
I want to end on a big positive that has happened to me this month. Long time readers will be well aware that I have a long-term goal of leaving my home in Coventry for pastures new. I’ve been looking to achieve that goal either through working or through education. As it turns out, my hard work in education seems to be paying off and I’ve now received 2 conditional offers from 4 of the universities I was hoping to hear from – with one more potentially coming about after an interview in a few weeks! I did receive one rejection, but I’m not letting that get to me! I have two offers from two universities that aren’t local to me. I’m finally going to get to leave, guys! I really couldn’t be happier about this. Now all I need to do is use this to focus back into the course, get through the final stretch, and get the grades I need to get to where I need to be.