On Monday March 28th, my grandpa’s life on Earth ended. I’ve been thinking about him a lot this week and these are a few things that stand out.
Hugs. The ones you have to pull out of because he doesn’t let go easily.
“I love you”
“So darn (damn) proud of you.”
Hats. So many hats.
“Old McGrandpa Had A Family…”
Talking about guns.
Showing me his collection of guns.
He really loved his guns. Almost as much as he loved his family.
Tomorrow we will lay him to rest and I am not ready. I don’t want it to be over…part of me still expects to see him at a “family party” tomorrow. My heart is full of wishes…
Growing up, he made sure we girls knew how to fish and shoot. He taught me to aim a gun and was always impressed and giddy when I hit something. He treated me like I was a dead-eye, sharp shooting, sniper in the making (I wasn’t…I’m terrible!), but he was so proud. I remember fishing with him at Flaming Gorge and he taught me how to troll. I got a fish or two and his face lit up. To him, I was amazing. I wish I could go out in the hills and shoot his guns with him again or to the lake and cast a line.
We grew up riding in grandpa’s boat. He took us skiing and tubing and swimming. I was afraid of getting tossed out of the tube and he was gentle, but made sure I had a good ride. I wish I could sit on the boat and enjoy a ride with him.
Every time we went to a restaurant or anywhere public, grandpa would flirt and tease the waitress or anyone who would humor him. He made me laugh. He made the world laugh. He charmed his way into the hearts of everyone who interacted with him. I wish I could see him flirt and tease. I wish I could see him smile and laugh while the world laughed with him.
Grandpa was uncomfortable in churches, on temple grounds, at choir performances and shows, etc. He didn’t want to go to places that made him uncomfortable, but if it meant being there for one of his grandkids, he came anyway. He may have been in t-shirts, jeans, and a hat, but he showed up. He supported us and made sure we knew, again, how proud he was. On the day I got married, he was in one of his “moods” and wasn’t going to be in any pictures, especially at the temple. I can only find pictures with the back of his head, proof that he was there because he loved me, even when he was being ornery. I wish I had pictures with him on my wedding day.
I admit that I didn’t visit him often enough, but when I did he was full of hugs. He was full of I love yous and I’m proud of you. He really wanted us to know how he felt. I wish I would’ve seen him more so he could feel my love for him. I told him whenever I saw him, but I worry he didn’t feel it as deeply as I meant it.
Before he passed, he had a stroke and I was privileged to spend a few days with him in the hospital. Before the stroke, I felt a new desire to get over to their house more often. I tried and I saw him more in February than I had in a while. It felt amazing. He was amazing. I wish I had more time with him.
In the last few visits before the stroke, he talked to me about how proud he was of this grandkid or that grandkid and how happy he was to see everyone raising good families. In the hospital, the last time I saw him, he told me how proud he was of me for choosing to foster parent. His face was pride and joy. I wish I could see his face again and feel that pride he had in his family.
The Saturday before he left us, I intended to take our new family over to see him. In the busyness of the Easter holiday, I forgot. Completely, 100% forgot. I made a new plan to swing by on Monday after the kids’ naps. But it was too late. He was gone. I wish he would’ve stayed a little longer. I wish I would’ve made it over to see him a little sooner. I wish I could hear him praise me for “doing a damn good job with these kids.” 😉 Haha! I wish a lot of things as I prepare for this weekend, for the last goodbye on Earth.
I wish he was here.
I wish his life didn’t end the way it did.
I wish I would’ve been able to say goodbye.
I wish I could yell in his deaf ear that he is a lucky bastard and that I love him and tell him not to go.
But he did go. He is gone. Wishing won’t bring him back or change what happened. We have to focus on the good
I wish for him to be remembered as the grumpy, flirty, lovey guy he was.
I wish for him to finally understand that he is a child of God and that he is loved in Heaven and on Earth.
I wish for him to have happiness and peace as he reunites with God, with the Savior, and with his family there.
I wish for him to see me. To watch me as I grow in my new role. To be proud of me from where he is.
I wish for peace as we learn to be ok without him.
I wish for all of us to do more to connect with family, before it’s too late and you’re left wishing for things that can’t be.
“End? No, the journey doesn’t end here. Death is just another path, one that we all must take.” -Gandalf the Whit
“To the well organized mind, death is just the next great adventure.” -Albus Dumbledore
“To one as young as you, I’m sure (death) seems incredible, but to (others) it really is like going to bed after a very, very long day.” -Albus Dumbledore
Goodnight, grumpy old man. We love you and we’ll see you in the morning.