Grandpa Wahler’s World

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I’ve had plenty of challenges throughout my period of sobriety, but I can honestly say that the news that I just received this week has given me the biggest emotional challenge I have yet to face.

My grandfather got diagnosed with stage four lung cancer, and honestly, I have had a tough time trying to cope with the news, especially since hearing it was so shocking. I can’t remember ever experiencing this much sadness since I have been sober, and I know that there is a long road ahead to go down.

The thing about my grandfather is that he isn’t just a typical grandfather. He is someone who both myself and my entire family have always looked up to, and for good reason. He has always been a solid source of wisdom and guidance for each and every one of us in the family, and he has true, quality character that you just don’t find anymore. He has willingly been there through everything that our family has endured, and he has spent his life doing everything he can to set us all up for success.

Everyone says that my grandfather and I are so much alike, and I can’t help but agree. Our entire family is close with one another, but I feel a different connection with my grandfather and I truly believe it is because we are so similar — from our looks to our mannerisms and more! To me, he is more than just my grandfather, and we have more than just your typical grandfather-grandson relationship. It goes much deeper than that and the respect I have for him is unparalleled.

Seeing my 88-year-old grandfather enter into hospice this week has opened my eyes in a number of different ways. For starters, I am witnessing what powerlessness really is. To watch a man who has been the patriarch of the Wahler family have no control over what he is going through is moving regardless how you look at it. Also, it has made me strive to put my family first at this time. I always try to do that, but it can be easy to get caught up in the day-to-day. I plan on spending as much time with him as possible, and be grateful that I get the opportunity to do that

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Because of this experience, I am looking at my relationships with all my other living grandparents and Ashley’s grandparents much differently. I am making more time for all of them, and am happy to do so! I really love sitting with all of our grandparents and just talking with them. It’s so nice to see them all smile and enjoy themselves, and to keep those bonds going strong.

With that being said, I am so fortunate to say that my grandfather is mine. Many people wish they just knew someone like him, and I get to say that we are related. It’s really an honor and it makes me feel so grateful for him. Keeping these things in mind is what has been helping me get through this initial shock, and I am sure it will continue to help me cope with (and enjoy) the rest of our journey together!

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