This morning when Mason woke up Brian pulled him in bed with us so I could nurse him. The three of us were snuggled together when my phone rang. The second I looked at it and saw my dad on the caller ID I knew it wasn't good news. All I remember asking was "how's grandpa" and my dad answering with "he's gone". He passed late last night, but it was December 1st. Fucking December.
Let me rewind. In October my Grandpa had a stroke. He was in the hospital and rehab facility for almost a month. He was not able to speak easily and had to be fed with a tube. Just before Thanksgiving he passed his swallow test enough to eat some of the same blended food Mason could eat. I blended food in my magic bullet for Mason and then did the same for Grandpa. Although even Mason could eat more than Grandpa could.
Grandpa sat at the head of the table my little round bald man and at the other end of the table was my other little round bald man. We joked about our two cuties on each end of the table. As much as I hate the holidays now I really tried to soak in every second of Mason's first Thanksgiving along with knowing this was my very last Thanksgiving with all four of my grandparents. I'm so thankful to have had one holiday for Mason with all his great-grandparents. And even more glad I was able to soak it in.
On Thursday before we left Grandpa hadn't gotten out of bed all day. I climbed into bed with him and he held my hand and face. I told him how much I loved him and that we were leaving on our trip, but we would be home on Addison's birthday to have root beer floats. When I told him we were leaving he started to cry and was wiping away tears. He was able to tell me that he loved me too. I brought Mason in to kiss him and then came back one last time because I just had that feeling that I needed to. I had a few things I wanted to say and I knew I needed to say them.
We were practically nose to nose when I told him what a great grandpa he was and how proud I was of the man he was for our family. I told him how much I appreciated all his hard work and how he kept our family together. I told him how lucky I felt to have his example for my dad and my husband and that I knew Mason would be a good man from the lessons he passed down. I reminded him that I would be back on Wednesday and again made him promise to wait for me. And then I told him if he just couldn't wait for me that it would be okay as long as he went to be with Addison. I told him she would be so lucky to have him and that he'd better go find her and wait with her until I get there. I kissed his sweet wrinkly face and his gentle hands. He softly wiped his tears away I think he knew this was the last time he would see me. I think I knew too, but was just hoping I was wrong.
It just really figures that this would happen THIS week and that I would be gone. My family is so close and we are always together. The fact that I will literally never see my grandpa again (as he will be cremated before I get home) is very sad to me.
It's so different to lose a grandparent because all those cliche things are true like "he's at peace now" "he had a good life" etc. none of those things are true when you lose a baby and are only "comforting" with the loss of someone who lived such a good/full life.
I will miss him always, but I AM comforted by my memories and most of all I am comforted by the fact that my little girl has such a wonderful Grandpa to meet. It makes me cry happy tears to think of her sitting on his lap and softly touching his face. He was one of the few to hold her on earth and how sweet it would be to see the two of them snuggled up the way I know they must be. Our family tradition is to have root beer floats for birthdays and Grandpa Conway is the original ice cream scooper of the family. To think that he will be serving Addi her very first root beer float on her second birthday seems only fitting. I love you Grandpa, I love you Addi. Until we meet again, I send you all my love xxxooo.