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The Day My Grandfather Died

by Misty
(Palm Coast, FL)

It was July 4, 1990 at 2:48 a.m., a day I will never forget. I had stayed over at a friend's house that night because I didn't have to work the next day, but I had left my pager for the fire department on that night, which I never normally did either, but again did because the next day was a holiday. I had heard the call come over the pager because it woke me up and then I heard the address. I realized it was my grandparents' house. I immediately jumped out of bed and called the house.

My dad answered and said that my grandpa had collapsed and that he had called 911. I threw on my clothes and me and my friend jumped in the car and headed over. I had my friend drive because I was a nervous wreck not knowing what was going on. And then I heard it, the words that will haunt me forever. My chief came on the pager and said "Dispatch, you can cancel the medic, this is going to be a coroner's call."

I lost it. My friend continued to drive over and when we got there a few of my fellow friends/firefighters were there who had responded to the call. I told them it was my grandpa and they let me in. He had taken a different medication for the first time that previous day and it gave him a bad reaction and he had gotten up in the middle of the night to read about it in his medical journal and collapsed and died right there by the kitchen table. It haunts me to this day.

I can recollect everything about it and now every year on July 4th, I have that memory. If I could change it, I would have first of all, made it a different day so I didn't have to relate the 4th of July with a very tragic sad memory of mine. But I would also have not heard about it over my pager. That was horrible to hear that the coroner had to be called and before I ever made it there. I never even got to say goodbye. I also had been very busy the two weeks prior and didn't even get over there to see him for the past two weeks. That tears me up inside to think that.

I would have made more time to visit with him and see him every day if I had only known what was about to happen.

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