My granddad passed away around 1am this morning. He'd been suffering from and illness for quite sometime and finally went home to God this morning.
While I am still extremely sad about his passing, I have an extreme sense of peace and closure. He decided on Sunday to stop treatment, so I was able to call and talk to him to tell him, "goodbye." My brother and I also knew over Christmas that he wasn't going to be around much longer, so we got him a card and each wrote notes telling him how much we loved him. He knew we did.
I was able to thank him for the many things he's done for me. He bought me my first keyboard when I was in elementary school and encouraged me to keep taking piano lessons. When I would visit, he would have me play his little keyboard (the same exact kind as mine) to show him what I had learned. When mine broke, he gave me his. I only took lessons for a few years early in school, but I had that keyboard until Freshman year of college. When I graduated from college, he and my parents when in together and bought me a very nice Kawai Digital Piano for my graduation present. I play that thing almost everyday.
When he couldn't drive his car anymore, he gave it to me! It's a wonderful 1998 Oldsmobile which I named Bernard after him. That thing is a tank!
He was able to make it to my senior recital in the spring of 2007, so he got the chance to see me sing and he bragged to all the nurses about it.
He was a great man! He told the same stories every time we came to visit, but I never got tired of hearing them. Stories about how the Cincinnati Reds approached him to play baseball for them after WWII, but once he said he was 30 and had a wife they changed their minds...how he was throwing the split knuckle pitch long before anyone else...tons of stories from the war when he was a foot soldier running around in Germany. My favorite memory (and my brother will agree) is from a Christmas when we were VERY small. In his old house, he had a fireplace and mantle. On Christmas Eve, Shaun and I decided we were going to sleep by the fireplace so we could see Santa when he came down the chimney. Granddad then replied by picking up his BB gun and saying, "I'm going to shoot Santa when he comes down the chimney." We cried and cried and cried *obviously too little to understand the joke*. HAHA we STILL laugh about that and I'm SURE my brother will tell his kids the exact same thing.
I've lost a NUMBER of people in my life...that number nearing 20, but Granddad is the closest. My Grandma *his wife* died when I was in the 2nd grade, so I don't really remember much of that, and my step-grandma, Matty, died on my 21st birthday, but they had only been married about 8 years, so I didn't really know her very well either.
This is a sad time in our lives, but I know he's in Heaven playing baseball and flirting with all the women angels. I know I'll see him again!
4 days ago