I was inspired by Allison to visit my grandpa today. I love my grandpa – he’s very special to me and is my final living grandparent. No matter what family drama was going on at the time during my childhood (and there was always at least one going on at all times), my grandma and grandpa were always very good to me. My grandma passed away this past winter and that was hard on me – very, very hard. I think of her at least once a day – and always when I see something that’s purple. She loved purple! I spoke at my grandma’s funeral on behalf of the family and cried through the whole thing. I was a wreck. When I got done, I told my family that there is no way that I can do the same for my grandpa, because it would be even harder to get through. But – when the time comes – I’m sure I’ll speak again on behalf of the family because I’ll want to send him off with warm, spoken words all about him and his influence on my life.
Grandpa is doing well – too well, or so he says. He told me today that he’s doing too well and that he just wants to go be with my grandma. I get that. It breaks my heart a little because I will miss him terribly when he does go to be with her, but it also warms my heart. Theirs was a love affair like no other – and I’m sure he just aches for her.
Grandpa loves babies and little kids. Nothing makes him happier than seeing and talking to a baby. He can be in the worst of health or moods, but the entrance of a baby turns his entire day around. I didn’t tell him that I was coming today. B had a work meeting in Omaha (right across the river from my home town) so I tagged along. I called my parents on my way back and they were tied up with doctor appointments, but visiting them was not my priority. When I got to my folks’ house, I called my grandpa over and over again to let him know I was on my way to see him, but he never answered. So – I loaded Matthew up in the car and just headed up there.
We found Grandpa in the dining hall – all by himself. The sight of him alone hurt my heart. He gets up late so he eats breakfast around 11:00, after everyone else is long gone. He couldn’t see who was approaching him, but he saw a baby and lit up like a Christmas tree. When he finally realized that we were there to see HIM, and that it was his favorite grandchild (truly – I know that I am – it’s no secret!) – he teared up. My heart hurt again.
We had a wonderful visit – a truly wonderful visit! We watched Matthew crawl and cruise around the open area and laughed as he found new things to explore. Grandpa told me again how he met my grandma and how they dated while he was in law school. I felt bad because I had to interrupt the conversation a couple times to tell Matthew to be safe, but he understood. Grandpa would stop whatever he was saying, and say, “oh, Honey – oh, Honey. He is just the cutest little thing I’ve ever seen! Aren’t you so happy?” Yes, Grandpa, I am!
We went back to his “apartment” to visit because it was now time for the other folks to use the dining hall for lunch. Matthew was ALL about climbing in Grandpa’s lap. Had my dad been there, he would have said that it wasn’t a good idea to let Grandpa hold him without help, but I was comfortable with it and I stayed close. Matthew and Grandpa had a nice chat, and I had a wonderful time watching them. There was so much laughter and noise – and I know that it made my grandpa’s week (it made mine as well!).
As we left, Matthew waved “bye bye” and I got to tell Grandpa one more time that I love him. I never know if it’s the last time – so I say it many, many times before I leave. Grandpa likes to say, “God bless,” as you walk out the door. I’m not the most religious gal, but for Grandpa, I always say it back to him.
Memories were made today – and pictures were taken. Thank God for camera phones!
May 9, 2012 at 11:52 pm
Beautiful words about your grandpa… I can remember visiting my grandparents and never know whether it would be the last time or not. So many special memories. Love your post and your photos xoxo
May 10, 2012 at 8:05 am
Aw, so sweet 🙂
May 10, 2012 at 9:24 am
Oh my gosh so many things to say about this. My grandma is in her 90s and I know she is at peace with going whenever it happens, but I am so sad to know that Chloe may not remember her. I have many wonderful memories with my grandma. I also used to work at a retirement home, and I would get so sad seeing some of the residents eating alone, especially on the holidays. I can just picture how your grandpa lit up as he saw you walk into the room! I think it’s great that you surprised him with a trip and have pictures from your visit. So special. I always make sure to tell my grandma I love her whenever I talk to her and now she says I love you more. Such a sweet spot for our grandparents. 🙂
May 10, 2012 at 10:07 pm
Bless your heart for having worked in a retirement home. It takes a very special, good type of person to do that kind of work! I used to intern at a hospital and there was a retirement home on premises so I got up there quite a bit. I always marveled at the people who worked there – such GREAT people! I am not that surprised, though, to hear this about you 😉
May 11, 2012 at 2:18 pm
Aww thanks! It was actually a great first job for me and I really enjoyed getting to know the residents. Of course you always have the one or two grumpy old person who nothing will please them, but you gotta love them all the same.
May 10, 2012 at 9:07 pm
Oh, my heart. This was such a wonderful post. Reading about your grandparents’ love for each other…phew. Lump in my throat. The picture with M’s finger in his mouth is absolutely priceless! xo
May 11, 2012 at 4:03 am
Beautiful, wonderful post. And what a fabulous way to spend the morning. I’m sure your grandpa felt like the luckiest guy on the block. I love the pic of Matthew fish-hooking grandpa! Both boys just look so happy!
May 11, 2012 at 9:14 pm
Such an awesome post. I hope to visit my grandfather one more time with Stella!
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