Tuesday, February 14, 2006

A time to say goodbye.

It seems that my grandfather, who is almost 98 and is in a nursing home, will die soon. Probably tonight. He is dying of old age. He cannot communicate anymore, and it seems like he does not hear, see, or feel anything either.

He has not been very well for a number of years now. He and my grandmother, who is also alive but suffers from severe dementia, operated a business into their 80's. They were amazing, thoughtful, dynamic people. My grandfather was in love with my grandmother to the end. He used to recite a poem from a Valentine card they'd exchanged before they were married. He knew it by heart. We should all be so lucky to have a partner who still gets a thrill out of reciting a silly little love poem to us at 80-something. I think it is fitting that he leave this world on Valentine's Day.

I am sad even though we all said for a while now that it would be good if he could go. His quality of life was pretty poor. Even when you say and know that, the point of saying goodbye has to come at some time, and that is inevitably sad. At least a little sad. It is, however, also a time to reflect on the amazing things about the person and the legacy they leave. My grandfather, for example, loved to teach. Before he and my grandmother started their business, he was a teacher and professor. He loved talking about theories of education (sometimes to the boredom of his family!). He liked telling old stories, though it took him quite a while to get to the point because he loved details. He was fascinated by his family's history and did a lot of research on our ancestors. He grew up on a farm and was good at growing things. He liked to tell jokes. And he loved to read and learn into his old age.

I don't know if I'll be able to go to the funeral. I feel very uneasy about taking the boys out of town, J away from his doctors. And yet I don't want to leave them while I go either (it's about 5 hrs one way). J isn't very good at bottle feeding yet. He can do maybe 2 per day, but his choking and sputtering can be bad sometimes. I am not too upset about missing the funeral for my grandfather's sake. I know he would understand. It is more that I feel I should be there for my father and should show my support to others by being present. But there is such an urgency in me to take care of my babies first. I will have to see if my sister is going or not. If she's not, I'll really feel like I should, in which case I will have to rethink this whole thing.

In any case, I do want to say that he was a good grandfather, and I appreciate things he has left for me to think about. I will pass tell my sons about him. When his time does come (if it hasn't come already), may he rest in peace.

3 Comments:

Anonymous bri said...

I'm so sorry, J. I'll be holding your family in the light.

6:40 PM  
Anonymous Emmie said...

What a beautiful testimony to his life. He sounds like an amazing person. I'm so sorry.

9:31 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

Hugs to you and your family.

7:34 AM  

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