T and I have just come back from a very blessed but very bittersweet weekend. My entire extended family came together to celebrate a family reunion with my Grandpa, the last one we will celebrate with his physical presence there. I'm not going to lie, it was hard. My heart hurts so much today after we left, but I felt so happy to see that he was able to leave the nursing home and join us at my uncle's house for several hours. He looked exhausted but smiled every now and then as a great-grand child would run by or as people visited with him.
My uncle had printed out pictures for all of us - a young George and Peggy when they first got married, enjoying a ball game. They both looked so happy and in love, and I will treasure this picture forever. My Grandpa had a copy of this picture in front of him when I was visiting with him, and I asked him when the picture was taken. A smile crossed his face as he told me when they took that. Looking at my Grandma, he said "she was a dandy, wasn't she?" He began to tear up, as he shared with me and my aunt that he misses her so much and wants to be with her. I took his hand and said, "you will be soon, Grandpa. She's watching over you." My aunt asked him if he'll watch over us when he's gone, and he nodded, tears in his eyes. It's so hard to see him like this. I don't want to lose him, but I want him to be back with my Grandma. I want him to be at peace again.
I hate that feeling when I hug him good bye, and I wonder if this will be the last hug. It makes me not want to let go, not want to let go of his hand, and it makes saying "I love you" not feel like enough. I felt this way with all of my grandparents, and the feeling is even more strong this time around because he's been such a big part of my life for so long.
We went to see him last weekend in order to allow my cousins and family who lived farther away to spend more time with him this weekend. It was hard not going back to the nursing home before we left today, so on our way out of town, I had T stop by the cemetery where my Grandma is. They share a plot, and his name is already on the headstone next to hers. As I stood there, looking at her name and the date we lost her, I prayed that she was watching over him and that she would take care of him once he leaves us. I miss her so much, and I know that I will miss him as much. I just can't imagine how he feels, spending so many years without my Grandma.
I pray that this last weekend was not the last time I got to spend time with him, but from what I have been told, it's quite possible. They have determined they will no longer drain the fluid in his body, and since I saw him just last weekend, his condition has quickly deteriorated. I just pray that he doesn't have to suffer much longer and that he feels the love of all of us around him. Because if one thing is clear after this weekend - he is loved. Very much so. I feel so blessed to have him as my Grandpa.
Again, I'd like to thank all of you for your sweet messages and prayers. I apologize my blogs haven't been their normal tone. I'm going to try my hardest this week to put out something a little more upbeat...maybe a Spin Cycle? But truly, thank you all. It means so much to me and my family.