Half way into our conversation I realized my Grandpa was saying good bye to me. He started out telling me the story of his sickness and how it had progressed over the years. Information about his blast counts, platelets and more details I’d heard previously. Then he went into his recent trial treatment he was participating in which led to his bone marrow biopsy last week and spinal tap to determine how well it was working.
Next came how much he loves me and how proud he is to have been able to watch me grow up into the best mom and person. How my choices over the years have led me to where I am supposed to be: with Vince, my husband. He continued on to tell me we have given him the most amazing great grandchildren and his only regret is not being able to stick around to watch their milestones and experiences. It was here I realized… oh… he is saying good bye to me.
Obviously at this point all I would say was ‘uh-huh’ and ‘right’ and ‘oh Gramps’… while convulsing in silent tears in the front passenger seat of my Sequoia while my kids were in the back seat. And my poor husband is driving us home from a great morning at the Alaska Wildlife Center.
I can picture him sitting there at the breakfast bar at their home we have visited them in and made memories with them in for decades. Picture him with his typed up bullet points he wanted to cover while talking to me. And probably one sheet for each of us grand kids. My Grandpa is an amazing writer, poetic and gifted with a flowing literary sense that doesn’t come to all people.
The rest of the conversation I pulled it together enough to get some details on his plan, which includes spending the rest of his time at home with Grandma. He asked me to make sure to check in on her and still come visit, even when it’s just her- because she has been his life. For sixty years. The tears started again.
Gramps told me to tell Vince he loves him. And to keep the family together even when he is gone. Hopefully watching over us, but he won’t know until he gets there.
Love you gobs Gramps.