February 15, 2014
What a long day. It was especially difficult on my mother. Today marks the third year anniversary since my grandfather has gone home; the day after my grandmother’s, his wife’s, birthday.
I think back on how I saw him. My impression of my grandfather is one of awe. Ever since I can remember, he has looked the same.
Gray hair covered with a cowboy hat.
Always with a mustache and a smile.
Callous hands from years of hard work, yet were able to pick wild flowers for me from the side of the road.
It was not until after his leaving us, did I see pictures of when he was a child. He was a handsome boy. Later he turned into a handsome man. It was like I got to know him anew, as a person, not just a grandfather.
There was a great comfort to our family learning he had been saved just a short time before. He was a strong man and knew he did not want to go in a hospital or a nursing home. It seemed to happen so quickly, a matter of a few months. We had a Christmas like we did when I was young. Every aunt, uncle, cousin, sister, brother, and relative was there for a Christmas we would all remember.
He and my grandmother moved in with one of their daughters. There Hospice would help and keep track of his health.
It was a difficult time for our entire family. Grandpa was the rock on which our family stood on. As time grew closer, we each got to spend alone time with him. I would read from the Bible to him, I always started with Psalms 23.
One of my uncles, the youngest of the boys, wrote a poem. It was such a moving and loving poem, it brought everyone to tears. I would share the poem here, but it is not mine to do so.
For a brief moment in time, our family was whole again. I hate that it took such a tragedy to bring us together.
My father got his wish. He was not in a hospital. He was not in a nursing home. He was with his family. We all gathered around him as he took his last breath. I am grateful I was able to remember our last words to each other. “I love you.” I will always remember how he called my son, “Pardner”.
We, as a family, have fallen apart. Without our rock, we are drowning. Perhaps this year will be different. Perhaps this year, our family can remember we are not without a foundation.
I am not without my grandfather. Often he will appear in my dreams and I hug him so tight, it is amazing. He is still with me, with all of us. Sometimes, I still smell his hair gel and I smile knowing I will see him again.
I miss you Wello.
Just an added note, I thought I’d add Psalm 23. It is one of my favorites.
King James Version (KJV)
23 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever