I never thought I’d be writing a post like this one so soon.
I’ve been a little absent for a couple of weeks. A lot has taken place.
Last Wednesday, my mom called and informed me that my grandfather (AKA–Paw Paw) was in the hospital for dehydration.
Don’t worry. It’s nothing serious.
The day after, I got a call at work from her saying that he wasn’t doing so well.
I packed up my bag as quickly as possible and was on the road.
I got to the hospital in time to see him. He knew who I was and was happy to see me, but shortly after, he was no longer himself.
Then, on Friday afternoon, he was gone.
The details are not something I wish to rehash. I’m sure they’ll be burned in my brain for all of eternity. I would like to say, however, that he went peacefully–just like he had always hoped to. I’m so thankful he did not spend month after month suffering over his illness.
My family is still in shock. We had no idea our time with him was so limited.
He had been so healthy and so active, up until the very end. His favorite pastime was gardening, and he never had a year that he couldn’t do it because of poor health. What a blessing.
I already miss him so much more than I can ever say.
He was the best man I’ve ever known. He was humble, selfless, honest, sweet, caring, so full of love, and–in my mind–perfect. I couldn’t have picked a better Paw Paw, even if I searched the world over and traveled through time.
This experience has just been another reminder in my life of why we should make room for what means the world to us, and eliminate the things/commitments/people that don’t.
My Paw Paw was a master at living simply.
I plan to follow his example in every way possible, and even if I can only be a fraction of the person he was, I will consider my time here successful.
I can’t believe I won’t be able to go visit him anymore on Sunday afternoons, or share Christmas or Easter dinner with him. My heart breaks to never be able to see his smile or hear his voice again in this life.
Yet, I’m thankful for the almost-27-years I had with him, and am so honored to be able to say that he was my grandfather.
And I anxiously look forward to the day when we will all be together again.
(photo by my cousin, over at the green.)