Thursday, February 14, 2008

Grandpa



This picture was taken in November of 2006 - John was one month old. My Grandpa made the trip (with my Grandma) despite his ailing health. They flew from New York to Georgia and then drove 2 hours from the airport to my dad's house. The next day my Grandpa had dialysis and then got in the car and traveled another 8 hours to Virginia. They stayed the next day but then had to leave early the following morning so Grandpa could get back to Georgia for a late afternoon dialysis appointment. All of this so he could see Henry and meet John, his 8th great-grandchild. I protested the visit due to his many falls and troubles with his dialysis (he was on dialysis for 4 years); I didn't want anything to happen to him. I thought it would be too hard on him. Grandpa said to me "Adrienne, If I don't keep living, then what do I have to live for."

One year ago today, Valentines Day 2007, Grandpa passed away. He missed the birth of his 9th great-grandchild by only 6 weeks. I think he met him on his way to Heaven.

I couldn't make it to his funeral - John had pneumonia at 3 months old with breathing treatments every 4 hours and Henry had bronchitis. This is what I sent to be read at the funeral.

Grandpa – As I sit here and write this, I am wishing I was there to hear all the wonderful things that everyone has to say. I know I would learn so much and be able to recount some great memories that we have shared. I also know you understand that I need to take care of my babies – just like you always took care of all of us.Right now I am looking at a picture from my wedding, in which you are wearing my garter on your head – I’m unsure if this was before you put it on Grandma’s leg or retrieved it for this Kodak moment…it makes me smile – laugh actually. That is just one of my many memories of you Grandpa – I remember belly flops in the pool, birthday parties in your backyard, Grandma telling you that you loved Daisy and Goldie more than her – we all know that wasn’t true – you loved Grandma just as much as you loved your dogs…I also remember your big bear hugs that had me gasping for air, your care packages through the years that were protected by enough peanuts and tape to take an engineer to extract whatever was inside. Not only did you take care of your family, but your neighbors, and friends – both human and feathered. We are all going to miss you Grandpa – there will be a void in our hearts until we see you again…in the meantime, I know there are some TV’s that need a few repairs to keep you busy. Your body began to fail you but your heart never did…as Henry now says, “GG is all better now”.



I wrote this today not to make anyone sad but to show a life well lived. To quote Grandpa again, "If I don't keep living, then what do I have to live for." Keep living and loving with all your heart. You won't be sorry.

3 comments:

Lil D said...

That was beautiful - what a great attitude.

periwinkle said...

Im now sitting here with tears rolling down my cheeks. Granda's are such wonderful things and are never to be taken for granted. My granda was actually a step granda but he meant so much to me and I still miss him all these years later. Remember the happy things.. x

Kris said...

That was beautiful Adrienne!

Thank you so much for your advice too - I've been trying bits and pieces and it's coming together. Ben's biggest problem is that he can't self soothe. Tough one to get through, but I'm confident that he can do it!!!! Have a great weekend! ~ Kris