10.30.2007

Missing him.


I think part of the reason I've not felt myself the past few days and just sort of out of it, overly stressed, anxious and emotional is that it was one year ago that I lost my grandpa. He was my last grandparent. Neil's last grandparent as well. (Grandpa was very much a grandpa to Neil. He loved Neil a lot and was very proud of him. Neil knew grandpa for 13 years.) But he wasn't just a grandparent. I loved him so so much. He cared about me so much. He told me so. He told me he loved me - a lot. He came to every one of my children's birthday parties or celebrations of some sort. He came to every one of my celebrations growing up. He was a busy man. A farmer. A very well-known farmer. Everyone knew him, but they also loved him. So many people loved him because he was a phenomenal man. Sure, he made mistakes. We all do. But what I saw, as a granddaughter, was a man who was unbeatable and would do anything for anybody . . . kind of like a superhero. He was my Superman.
I feel so incredibly blessed because I was with him, holding his hand, as he took his last breath. I remember those moments so well that I think I could tell you minute-by-minute what happened. I didn't leave him side for 2 whole days. I spent the night at the nursing home with my mom, and Great Aunt Shirley (Dad and Jerry were there part of the time, too). I couldn't leave him. He had to know I was there. He knew how much I loved him. He may not have been alert (I felt in my hear that "he" was already gone), but he knew that I was there, and that's all I wanted. I wanted him to know I wasn't going to leave a man who gave me so much for 30 years.

I hate it that I remember one year ago so well. I hate it because these are the freshest memories I have of him. He wasn't himself. He was really just a body laying there struggling for life. A body that had quickly whithered in a few short months. Like I said, I knew he was gone. But it was still probably one of the toughest moments of my life knowing that he was going to die in front of me at any moment but not know exactly when. I prayed that he would just die after every struggling breath he took. I prayed out loud, which if you know me, that isn't something I do. I'm very private with my faith. I prayed selfishly that he would just die because I couldn't take it anymore seeing him in the state he was in. I had never seen a person die in this way before. Man, grandpa was stubborn.

It was so incredibly hard to sit there with grandpa as he left us. But I did. And even though those are the last memories I have, I am thankful for that time because it changed me. It was the least I could give back to him after all he had done for me, and taught me, in my lifetime. I don't regret sitting there with him. I don't regret bringing my children in to see him die. I don't regret petting his bitterly cold head. I don't regret kissing him goodbye. This is what you do when you love someone. You are there with them until they are gone. You do what you can to be the strength and pillar that that person was for you.

I miss him so much still. I think about him every day. Pictures all around my house remind me of him and the person he was when he was the strong healthy happy farmer father-figure that I knew.

Today I pray that grandpa is inside the Pearly Gates. I think he is, but I don't know for certain. No one really knows for certain. He was a Christian. And so I hope. And I hang on to that hope. That's what gets me by, knowing in my heart that one day I will see him again, that one day I will see all my grandparents again. That one day I'll see all my loved ones again. That's all we can do is hope.

Loving and missing you, grandpa.

Thankfully, this is how I will remember him most . . .




me and grandpa

10 comments:

Erin said...

(((hugs))) as you remember and love!

Jennifer said...

oh Val, I really can't believe it's a yr. already. Where does the time go? I know I ask this all the time, but it amazes how fast it goes:9
I'm sending ya a hug.....praying for ya. I have one Grandmother left, but it will be very sad when that day comes......love ya girl

mama2dibs said...

I think this is exactly how Chris felt about his grandpa who was a farmer as well. He passed away two years ago in July and I don't think Chris will EVER get over it. He lost his best friend.

Louise said...

Wow precious memories, you are blessed to have those!! I never had grandparents around me...one thing I vowed my kids would have. Hugs to you girl!!

jen said...

HUGS my darling friend

oh amanda said...

Val, what a sweet post! I'm sorry you're sad tho'! The Bible is clear, if your grandpa loved Jesus and was a Christian, he is with Jesus right now! That's encouraging! (((hugs))) for you!

Tracey said...

:hugs: to you Val. The first anniversary is always so hard. Take comfort in your happy memories.

Missy said...

:) I hear ya... my mammaw died, well, 12 years ago. Worse part about it, it never gets easier. People will tell you it does.. but it doesn't. Just hold tight to those precious memories and it will definitely help. Feel free to share every memory you have.. we'll listen! :)

Alexis Jacobs said...

What a wonderful man. He will always live in your heart and you WILL see him again. And I know he has some awesome company up there. :)

lil ole' me..... said...

Val, my heart just goes out to you! I know exactly what you are feeling, as it was just one year ago that my grandpa passed away in Aug. It is so hard and sometimes you expect time to heal your wounds, but certain days and events make it seem like it was just yesterday. I'm so glad that you have so many wonderful memories of your grandpa. He sounds like a wonderful man!!!
((HUGS))