I have always been a girl with a plan and when the plans changed I had a thought out reason why I was shifting directions. When I decided to go to the University of Arizona, I never second-guessed my choice and to this day it was the greatest decision of my life. Throughout senior year I jumped from wanting to get a job to wanting to go to graduate school and whenever I thought I figured it out, it changed. Every time my plans changed my grandparents told me not to worry about it because everything would work out exactly how they should and for whatever reason that was enough for my anxiety.
My grandparents have always been my voice of reason because they raised me since I was an infant. Between the bad days and the good days, they were always on my side. After graduation I moved home which I saw as my first of many blessings. Many people whom I attended college with would explain how their parents did not want them back home post graduation so knowing the doors at my childhood home remained wide open gave me enough confidence in my decision that timing would help me get where I needed to be, when I was fully ready.
I took a job at a local summer camp where I spent my days with four-year-old angels. Every day I would come home and tell my grandparents the stories that made up my day and we would laugh and smile at the dinner table and I truly believed everything was okay.
Once camp ended I knew it was time to get down to business with figuring out my future until one night, my grandfather fell. Now, this is not the first time he fell but at 3:00 AM, my grandmother, uncle and I got in the car with my grandfather and took him to the hospital an hour away. We talked, we laughed and despite my grandfathers bruised condition, he was in good spirits.
Days passed and my grandmother and I were back and fourth from the hospital and one day, I noticed my grandmother was too tired to go up so I volunteered to go alone. That was the day that I saw a man I did not recognize, that was not my happy go-lucky pop that I saw days prior. As the doctor began reading the numbers off, I felt myself get hot and the tears started to form, what was happening? The heart medicine was all off; the guy lying in front of me was not my grandfather. I lost it.
After a few weeks, things started to improve, he was moved to a rehabilitation facility where he tried to regain his strength, he tried eating again, his numbers were going in the right direction, we saw the light in his bright blue eyes. A month passed and there were some bad days followed by some good days followed by some confusing days. Days turned into weeks and weeks into months, I got calls for job interviews that I was excited to go to only to have to cancel them because something new was going on with my grandfather. My grandfather went to 5 different facilities, my car gained thousands of miles and after seventy days, I lost my best friend.
If there ever was a good time for something bad to happen, this was the time. I never thought I would be thankful for the jobs I did not get or the opportunities I passed up on, I never thought I would say goodbye to my best friend, my father figure for 22 years, the man I loved the most-but it happened.
I was never one to believe in blessings in disguise but how could I not believe in something so real. How could I not be grateful for the final seventy days of hand holding, stories, laughs and even tears that I got to share with you. The stigma associated with post graduation life is one that could make any college student anxious but I come to believe that the time comes and rushing into something that does not make you happy is not something I would wish on anyone. I have come to value living in the moment and understanding that even on the worst day of your life, some of the best days are not too far-gone. I would not trade the time spent with my grandfather for the most ideal job in the entire world because I am who I am, because of him and for that, I am eternally grateful.