Two weeks ago, I got a call from my mom. I could tell she was upset. She told me that my grandpa, her dad, had died. I was in shock. He has been living in a facility for the last 3 years and my mom mentioned that he'd been falling down lately. He also had dementia/Alzheimers. It was hard to see him forget things.
On Thanksgiving I was taking him home. It took him 15 minutes to figure out how to climb into my car. I was frustrated because he wouldn't allow me to help him, and so after 12 minutes I went inside to get a step-stool, by the time I got out he was in and buckled.
I'd actually spent quite a bit of time with him because my mom and uncle made sure that he was included.
The last time I talked to grandpa I was picking up my uncle from his weekly visit. Grandpa was sitting in his chair watching Disney Channel. (My uncle's idea, I'm sure.) I gave grandpa a hug and kiss like I always did and he invited me to stay. I told him that I had to get my boys home and in bed, but that I loved him and would see him later.
Nothing big, but I do feel bad.
We had all the family here last week. That was fun. We stayed up late talking and laughing. It took quite a toll on my little 3 year old. He's been grumpy and throws tantrums at the drop of a hat. I think once he catches up on his sleep things will mellow again.
Cameron took it hard. He knew what death was and cried. I told him that things were going to be okay, because grandpa was with grandma again and he could remember. That's the thought that got me through the week leading up to his funeral. He was happy. I knew that.
Then came the viewing. I wasn't there, but mom and dad took Jake with them. I hadn't discussed any of this with him because he's too young to understand and I didn't want to make him unduly sad. When he saw Grandpa in the casket, he said, "That's GRANDPA!" Then he was sad. My mom explained that he was happy and with grandma again. Jake then said, "But why did he have to die?"
How can you answer that one?
The viewing was quite fun...as grandma's had been. We laughed and talked. I swear, those viewings were the LOUDEST things I've ever attended.
The next day was the funeral. I knew that since I hadn't cried that the tears were coming....boy, did they EVER come. I lost it during the opening song, "O My Father." I realized that I will miss him dearly and won't be able to hug him again. It was sad, but then I also remembered how happy he is. It was a mix of emotions.
We slowly said good-bye to family after that. It was great to see them, but sad to see them go home. Good thing we have a reunion this year.
Grandpa was a great man who worked hard for his family. He knew the importance of making memories with his kids, and did it....frequently.
Good bye, Grandpa....until we meet again.