We got the phone call we have been waiting for for months. This afternoon my Grandpa has been called home to be with God and be with my Grandma again.
It's hard. He's been sick for so long. I've wanted this to happen. I've prayed for God to let him go and let him be at peace. But a part of me feels broken now that he is gone.
He's one of the smartest men I know. A Navy Captain during World War II, an engineer, a loving father and grandfather (and great-grandfather to twelve, with two on the way). He is an amazing man.
I always looked up to my Grandpa when I was a little girl. Part of me was a little scared of him because, well, he's my Grandpa...he was a strong, smart man. But he always made me laugh. His name was George, and he was born on George Washington's Birthday, February 22nd, which coincidentally is also Half-pint's due date.) He always said that he couldn't tell a lie like George Washington. He used to always drive my Grandma crazy when she was cooking in the kitchen, because he'd meddle around. She'd go "Dang-nabbit, George! Get out of my kitchen!" He was always taking pictures when the family was there. And always building something. He and my Grandma would go to craft shows and find something cute for the holidays, he'd buy that craft piece and then make replicas of them for all of the children. And he always was reading books, books about the Civil War, about the presidents, etc. I am lucky to have several of those books now.
When my Grandma passed away in 2000, I was in college, and my college was pretty close to where he lived in Terre Haute. So on Fridays, I would often make the drive there to have Friday dinner with him. I'd call him, and he'd talk about how he was learning to make soup on his own, learning to cook and basically function solo. He was always so proud of himself. And conversations only lasted exactly 30 minutes. But I always treasured those times I spent with him.
Even as he got sick, I tried my best to see him as often as I could. I would spend the night at his house after work trips, going to the VFW fish fry with him and watching Jeopardy until he fell asleep.
It's been hard this past year as my Mom and her siblings had to make the difficult decision to put him in assisted living as it became harder and harder for him to care for himself. He hated it there and missed his home, but at least he was around his belongings and in his own space. It became harder this last summer as he was moved to a nursing home and his renal failure continued to progress.
I've gone back and forth these past few months between not wanting to lose him and being angry at the fact that his suffering had gone on so long. He truly didn't deserve that. I wanted so badly for it to pass and for him to be at peace. But at the same time, I didn't want to say good bye.
I'm trying my best today and from now on to hold onto those memories, the thirty lucky years I got to spend with him as his granddaughter. He was the best grandfather a girl could ask for. He'll never know how much he was loved and how much he will be missed.
A memory I am going to treasure forever is the fact that he was there for my wedding day. That truly meant so much to me, as it did to my mom. And I got to dance with him. I will treasure this memory for the rest of my life.
When I was in high school, we used to try to beat each other at this game where we could see who the first person was to say "I'm sure glad you got to see me!" and make the other person laugh. He was always quicker than me at first, but I soon became quick to the game. The last time I saw him on July 30th, as I hugged him for the last time, I kissed him on the forehead, told him I loved him and said "I'm sure glad I got to see you Grandpa."
I'm sure glad I got to have you as a Grandpa. I miss you already and love you always....