Last week was supposed to be filled with spring break antics for the kids and fun for the family - and then I received a call that my grandfather was in the hospital. I wrote about my G-pa back in October when he had a heart attack - you can read it HERE.
My grandfather had been doing well since the heart surgery, but with increased shortness of breath and the diagnosis of Pulmonary Fibrosis he wanted to take himself to the hospital. He went to his small town hospital on a Saturday evening and they sent him to St. Louis to one of our bigger hospitals. He did well on Sunday and by Monday my father was saying that he would be going "home", unfortunately things took a turn for the worse.
I wanted to visit him at the hospital on Monday after work but I had class and it doesn't let out until 9:30 PM - and visiting hours would be over for sure. Tuesday my father called and told me that the doctor called and it might not be long - so I left work and headed to the hospital. I talked with G-pa, laughed at his hatred for the food, quirkiness with the nurses, and told him I loved him - held his hand and kissed his forehead when I left to go back to work. He was having the hardest time breathing and his oxygen levels were dropping and the doctor had told us it was time to learn to "let go". He made it until around 5:00 p.m. and I got the call that G-pa passed. I asked my Dad to please let me see him one last time - so I headed back up to the hospital to be with my father and grandmother and see him for the final time. Saying goodbye was extremely tough - but seeing my grandmother (whom he had been married to for 64 years) and my father in pain - was even tougher. This was first close family member to pass in my short 33 years and I wasn't prepared for the sadness that I would feel.
Long story short... the wake, funeral, and weekend consisted of grief and a celebration of his life. So many memories and wonderful stories shared - it touched my heart...
I will remember:
- him lacing up his fine leather boots and getting ready for the Mason Lodge on the weekends
- his old type writer and him sitting down to write REAL letters
- him making us ice cream with his ice cream maker in the basement of his "City" house
- the long rides down to the "Country" and the music we listened to down there
- his love for farming and sending us kids home with TONS of veggies and fruit
- him trying to teach me to "hook those worms" and to succumb to the "country girl" life
- his YELLOW Freight notepads lying all over the house for me to play "secretary" with
- his delicious REAL breakfasts in the morning - cooked with lard and love
- the way he combed his snow white hair back with his small black comb
- his mustache tickling our cheeks as he kissed us goodbye
There are so many more memories that I will cherish. He was a GOOD man - a truly genuine GOOD man who will be missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him.