The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Complete schedule includes family members

By Kenney Kost/managing editor

Life can get hectic, especially for college students. It is a time in life when sacrifices have to be made. One thing we tend to sacrifice is time with our families.

Bill Hornsby was a great man, not just because he was my grandfather. He served in the Korean War and spent the rest of his working days as a police officer for the Rio Hondo Police Academy in California. Even after retirement, he stayed on to train new police officers in gun safety and tactics.

As a child, I spent as much time as I could with him. Even after moving to Texas, my family made it a point to visit California at least once a year, and my grandparents came to Texas even more. He was at baseball games, football games and graduation. He was there when I went off to Tarleton State University right out of high school. As the years kept passing, the visits became more infrequent, and time with him was pushed aside.

We still communicated by phone. He wasn’t into social media, just phone calls. It had been eight years since I had seen his face.

Spring break started out pretty normal. Then on the morning of March 13, I received a phone call informing me that my grandfather had suffered a massive stroke, and I needed to make arrangements to get to California.

I was on a plane the next morning.

Nothing could have prepared me for the condition he was in. He had lost mobility on the entire left side of his body and couldn’t speak. His only form of communication was head movement for yes and no to answer simple questions. He had been battling leukemia for more than two years, and the doctors said they had been more aggressive in their treatments as of late. They believed this may have led to the stroke.

Spending time in California was good considering the circumstances. Family from all over came in to visit my grandfather. I saw people I had not seen in quite a while. Leaving was hard. Saying goodbye to people I had no idea when I would see again stirred me to tears, and not knowing what was going to happen to my grandfather made the flight back a lonely one.

Bill Hornsby passed away early Wednesday morning March 20. He was a strong man, and I couldn’t imagine him being taken care of like an infant, which is what he was in store for. He lived a full life and was ready to move on. He left behind a great family and his final act of bringing us all together to realize what we were missing in each other couldn’t have worked out better.

I will be visiting Pennsylvania this summer to meet my stepsister for the first time and visit aunts and uncles from my late father’s side of the family — people I haven’t seen since junior high. We are going to start annual family reunions and more visits from both sides of the family.

Taking family for granted is easy. They are always there when you need them and, in our minds, always will be. Take time to keep in touch with everyone you love. Not just when you need them or need emotional support, but even if it’s just to say I miss you or I love you because you just don’t know when it will be the last time.

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