My Dear Grandpa,
First I have to tell you this, I love and miss seeing your smiling, loving face everyday. I mean everyday! Well, I just wanted to kind of sit here for a few minutes and go back and thank you for everything you did for me, the boys, my family while you were alive. There were many things, I didn’t get to say, but I do NOT regret that at all. I REGRET NOTHING, of what I did, how I did it or how I felt about you! When dad died, you took me under your wing and didn’t let go. Our relationship became that much greater. You were a man who would tell it like it was, and yet do it in the most loving way possible. You made me cry, at the same time you taught me many lessons. I remember from the time I was itsy bitsy you always said, you pay yourself first no matter what. If you make 5.oo you take 10% of that and put it away, you are paying YOU and you will be so happy you did. Oh Gramps, how I wish I would have listened. You were one of the smartest men I knew, and your advice was longed for, even when it came to raising my boys. Those 2 boys loved you as much as I did and still do!
I have a journal I kept the 5 years that you were really sick, and I was right there by your side. I saw you slipping, and sliding and yet I would not just let you out of my grasp. Strong men survive.. and you definitely were one of those. As your life was a train wreck as a child, the hell you went through, the things that no-one should have ever had to endure YOU DID. You were definitely one of a kind. Anyway, So I want to talk about the years I spent helping grandma taking care of you. The things you and I did together and some of the things that we talked about. Many of those things, I better keep to myself, but I will share some because you made me feel so special to you. I know I was because you never, EVER lacked in telling me so, or anyone that may have been around you at that time. I was your Dolly, when i was a lil tyke, a woman, a mom, granddaughter and I always will be until we meet again.
That fall you took was the start of all of this nightmare, I do believe that whole-heartedly, however.. I truly believe that it all really started when dad passed away, and you could never get through that. I remember at the funeral home you making stand beside you as you held my hand almost entirely the whole time. I kept hearing over and over, this shouldn’t be your dad, dolly it shouldn’t it should be me. Little did you know you were going to become my way of life, the way of life that kept me tied for so long to dad. The stories you would tell me, the times we would cry, you never ceased to amaze me Grandpa. Not Once. So back to my scatter brain way of thinking. During those years you were sick, taking you to the Dr.,doing your medications, doing everything I could for you, but to watch you suffer from so much pain purely broke my heart. I know now what your pain was all about as I have developed a condition called RSD and it is busting the top of the pain scale. You, just like grandma would want to wave a magic wand over me to cure this.. or at least to make me feel better. Heck, even when YOU were sick, if I had come down to just a cold, you would call me many times a day to see how I was feeling, when you were feeling so like shit yourself. Those were such special times to me!
I remember the next big fall you took that split your arm open and cause us to be in the ER for 4 hours, and you to get 138 stitches, I watched that whole time as you didn’t complain, didn’t say a word but son of a bitch, I don’t need to be here esp for stitches. We would laugh about that much later…:) I cleaned your dressings daily, I tried to take as much of the load off grandma as i could. I could NEVER cook for you like she did, but i sure could bake you all of your favorite things, and I did. It brought me joy to watch your face light up when I’d bring you your favorite chocolate chip cookies, that only I could make worth a damn, or so you said.. Or how I would watch your face light up when Chad brought you all of that expensive, great chocolate that you would hide from everyone…LOL Just so you know, Grandma has now taken your spot over for that!!! :))
Anyway, gramps, what I wanted to say was, I never Regretted anything I ever did for you while you were sick and suffering. I know that I have been paid back ten-fold for that as I feel your presence around me so often. I think I may have even seen you the other night, floating from the back bedroom into the bathroom here. 🙂 That has got to be one of the best feelings I have ever had.. your presence, esp when things in my life aren’t going so right. I want to thank you for being there with me the day of my divorce. Don’t think for a minute as Deanna stood on my right side being there for and with me, that I didn’t feel you come and stand right next to me at the bench in front of the judge. I felt it all. The warmth, felt just as the night that you passed away.. holding you, and helping you get cleaned up for the coroner to take you off to where you wanted to be, at home.. with your sister Ruth, and my loving dad. Your body was so warm, and your muscles were still twitching, How many times I just wanted when you turned over for it to not be real, and not have those big beautiful eyes closed, I just wanted one more smile, one more I love you, one more of anything.. but most of all.. I wanted you to feel good again, be free of any pain that was causing you to thrash around in that bed, I wanted for you to be comfortable, and thanks to Hospice we were able to make that happen. I remember that night so clearly in my head, I was with you from 8 am that morning till 8 that night, and didn’t leave your side but to make a couple of phone calls, or to run and get you meds that they needed to make your thrashing stop. You would call me over to your bed, and make me lay there beside you, you would hold one hand and with the other you were touching my face, or asking me if I seen that Beautiful golden staircase.. It was so beautiful you said, but you told me specifically I could not paint it, I think that’s because you totally knew I sucked at painting too…hehe But when I sat there with you , and you would be talking to your sister Ruth, or dad, you would always turn to me and ask me, if it was ok for you to go home… It was one of the hardest things in my life to do grandpa to finally tell you YES, you could go home, that even I had the hospice nurse’s crying. And dude, some of those women are as tough as nails.. Not these particular ones tho, You told them of how Chad and I were your first-born grandchildren, and how you loved us from the day we were born.. and the most special kids you have ever seen. You told them all of that, I cried, you cried, and the nurses cried. Gram had seen enough of it that day that she pretty much kept herself busy.
Then came the question… Dolly, have you called Chad Michael? I don’t think that you ever called him just chad, and I assume there was a reason for that as well..:) a quite good reason if you ask me, but this i will never know. When I told you I did you smiled and took my hand and said I love you Dolly, and for all the right reasons. You waited on Chad to get home to see you, and for you to know he was there, before your soul lifted and you went right to the place you wanted to be…HOME.. as you called it. You were a rock grandpa, and we all miss you so much, but I want to thank you for being that man in my life that I could always depend on.. one that I could always be so proud of.. and one that loved without any conditions. I hope you know how much you are loved and missed, but I also want you to know.. I Love your visits to me.. They ALWAYS come just at the right time. Keep them coming gramp as they bring me up when I am down, just as you did when you were here.
I love you so much, and you will always be my “baby”