My last entry was about two weeks ago and it was written with the assumption that I would have my ICD implanted in my chest within two weeks–my procedure was delayed due to my grandfather’s passing and I will now have my procedure late next week.
Last week was a very hard week for me, I lost someone that I was very close to. This entry is going to be dedicated to my grandfather, William L. Blom. He was 76 years old and had respiratory failure caused by lung cancer.
My grandfather was an awesome role model and friend for me and everyone else he ever met. He was truly a hero–he grew up in Troy, NY and his father was a butcher and mother was a housewife. They did not have a lot of money but his parents always instilled how important a good education was.
He loved baseball, when he was growing up he would play baseball and according to my uncle (my grandfather’s brother) he would either hit a homerun or nothing at all. He always saved his allowance money, went to school, and when he was old enough he worked. He always loved food, he was a butcher throughout high school and college.
In his college years he would work during the day and go to school at night–he graduated from Siena College with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in statistics. After accomplishing his bachelor’s degree and his first master’s degree he met my grandmother and they started a family with the little money they had; he knew he had to do more for his family. So, shortly after the birth of my mother (their first child) they would move to Ann Arbor, Michigan where my grandfather pursued his second masters degree in public health administration at the University of Michigan.
While he pursued his second master’s degree he would move up the organizational ladder to become his agency’s first director, as director of research where he utilized all of his degrees and his experiences.
He was very successful in his career and education, however he was not just driven to get all the recognition or all the money in the world. His motivation was his family, all he wanted was for his family to be happy and to live comfortably. He was always thinking about other people.
While I was at the wake, a woman approached me and told me how amazing my grandfather was. He had a way of motivating people and making them feel good about themselves. She had told me how he helped her through her career and really instilled confidence in her to move on and move up.
He was very successful as you can see, however his health would become a burden the older he became. He retired in the early nineties and became a full-time grandfather–this is when I spent the most time with him. He would pick me up from school and we would go to car dealerships and look at cars, go get some food–he loved Hot Dog Charlie’s, and we would watch the Yankees play. He loved golf and loved the Yankees.
He was a great inspiration to me throughout school and anything else I pursued; he always told me to give it my all and that anything is possible if you have the right attitude.
He was diabetic and he also had dilated cardiomyopathy. Both really complicated things for him the older he became. About seven years ago he received a defibrillator, the same doctor that is implanting mine had implanted his. After I found out that I had the dilated cardiomyopathy he would calm me down and let me and everyone know I would be okay. His words led me to the fortunate feeling I have about my condition today.
His heart had made things somewhat complicated, however at the end of his life his heart was one of the few organs that was not failing him due to the defibrillator and his medications.
He is always here with me and my family and I know he wanted to be here for my procedure. A few days before he had passed he asked my mother if the doctor’s were still on board with the procedure and she said yes. He followed with “He is in good hands, he will be fine.” I know my grandfather will be watching over me on that day.