Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Missing Bumpa

Last Sunday, January 11, I got a frantic phone call from my mom a little bit after three. She and Michael were getting ready to come to our house to hang out with the kids and I while Brent went to youth group. Michael was outside and my mom went out to check on him to see if he was almost ready to go. She found him not breathing and unresponsive. She called 911...

I packed up stuff for Peyton and Brent put him in his car seat and the two of us took off to the hospital. About half way there, my mom called back... he was gone...It was one of the worst moments of my life.. 

The doctors aren't really sure what happened, but think he probably had a heart attack...

The past week has kind of been a blur...dealing with everything that needed to be done, helping my mom, remembering to eat... taking care of a brand new baby...it was rough... but we made it through and now we have to figure out what our new "normal" looks like... not only has a family of six, but also how to do it without Bumpa.

One of the things I am most grateful for is that Peyton came two weeks early so that he could have the chance to meet Bumpa! I was going to be induced on the 13th if I was still pregnant, but God knew exactly what needed to happen...

I'm also very grateful that the last couple weeks of his life, Bumpa got to spend so much time with these three crazy kiddos! My mom and Michael had two weeks off work for Christmas, so we got to spend some extra time with them. Plus, the weekend before, they spend the weekend at our house while Brent took teens to winter camp. And then the kiddos got to spend three days at Grandma and Bumpa's house while I was in the hospital having Peyton.

I had the privilege of having two dads from the time Mike entered my life in middle school until  Brent and I started dating... then I had three dads! Mike was an amazing father to me and an even more amazing Grandpa to my children.

My sister and I were never his step-daughters... we were always his daughters..his girls.. He was always there for us and never showed us anything but unconditional love. He scared off boys... cheered at soccer games, tennis matches, band concerts, and everything else we were involved in...he taught us to drive...taught us to change oil and change tires...he bought us ice cream...

So many of my "silly" habits are his fault! I like to organize in piles. I like things to be done a particular way... and if it's not done my way, it's not done the right way. I feel like I am going to run out of gas if I get below a quarter of a tank. I like my driveway to be clean in the winter. I ask a lot of questions about everything and always want to know the whys and the hows.

Michael loved my children more than they will ever know. He was "my bumpa" and there was never any question that he was the favorite Grandpa. The kids all called him at least once a day and always wanted me to send him pictures of them. (Kyle often wanted to send him pictures of his poop when he started going poop on the potty like a big boy!)

He will be missed very much, not only by his family, but by so many others. The love and support that we have received from everyone that knew him as been very overwhelming and very comforting. The group of friends that my parents have all been friends with since high school have been amazing taking care of us, providing lots of hugs and food, changing the oil in my van, offering to help fix things and finish projects, and so much more. The guys at his work have been awesome in finishing fixing my sister's car and hopefully will be able to figure out the ABS issues on our van that Michael was trying to fix. His car friends from Power Tour, BangShift.com, and Motor City Rockets have been amazing with coming from all over to the visitations/funeral, posting messages, and calling my mom to offer love and support. The Lansing Police and Firefighters and other city officials showing up and sharing stories about what an amazing guy he was. It's all been very overwhelming, but in a good way.

Please pray for our family as we process and trying to figure out what our new normal is. Pray for my mom as she lost her best friend. Pray for my sister and I as we lost one of our dads. Pray for Emily, Kyle, Colby and Peyton as they lost "my bumpa." Pray for Brent and Ian as they lost a man they loved and respected. Pray for my uncle, aunt, cousins who are hurting. Pray for his co-workers and friends (who are really more like family!). Pray for his car friends. Just pray. So many people loved Mike and so many people are hurting.

People keep asking how we are all doing. I'm not really sure how to answer. Some moments we are okay... other moments we are not. It's stupid little things that get me... and are like a punch to the gut. A song on the radio, a smell that brings back a memory, a Menards rebate hanging on my fridge....

My kids are still processing. Emily and Colby randomly announce "Bumpa died." Emily and Kyle talk about what they think Grandma is doing in Heaven...they often say he is fixing Jesus's car or playing horsey with Jesus. Emily cries and asks hard questions...like why God took Bumpa or if Bumpa can ever come back. Kyle is acting out lots and wakes up most mornings saying he talked to Bumpa while he was sleeping. Colby wanders around looking for Bumpa. Pray for wisdom for us as we try to answer their questions and help them process and heal.

My heart breaks for my children. For what they will miss growing up without Michael. But I think Emily and Kyle are old enough to remember him and we will continue to talk about him and look at pictures of him, so hopefully all four of them will grow up knowing what an amazing Bumpa they had... even if it was only for a short while.

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