Then, one thing after another, a fall here, a broken bone there, followed by pnemonia, muscle loss, and several other of life's ailments, he kept finding himself in the hospital. The time came for them to sell their house, and move into an assisted living center. Plans were made for when grandpa passed on that grandma would come to Utah and move in with my dad, closer to more of her kids, and almost all of her grandkids. Then the time came that grandpa was taken off all his medications except pain killers, and was put on hospice care. We were asked to pray for him to pass quickly. That was hard for me to do. Have you ever sincerely asked God to take away someone you love very much? I wanted my grandpa around, to tell us stories, to pass on his vast wisdom from the endless volumes his mind library, to make me laugh, to cook with me, to enjoy time at the beach or a restaurant together. Grandpa gave me all of those things and more. I knew he loved me, and I loved him. Grandpa didn't have much strength, but he still had his wits, and I wanted it to last. But, at the same time, I saw how despondant my grandpa was 2 years ago as he would get a phone call announcing that yet another one of his friends had passed away. I could see he was bent, couldn't hardly move without pain, wasn't strong enough to speak. I didn't want him to suffer. Death is another part of life and allows us a reprieve from the physical suffering we endure here. My feelings were very conflicted, but my love for my grandpa and wanting what was best for him and not myself, drove me to my knees and to the temple of our Lord to ask God to relieve his suffering and take him from us quickly in God's own time.
A few days later, the day after Thanksgiving I was going into a movie theater with my husband when my dad called to let me know Grandpa was no longer with us. My initial reaction was one of exceeding gratitude to God for hearing grandpa's and my prayers. I remember thinking that it was okay to cry, but when I let the event sink in, that's not what I wanted to do. I could feel my grandpa near. He wasn't crying. He was joyful. I really could feel him nearby, cracking jokes and lightening the mood. I know that was him because I've been in his presence and know what it feels like inside to be around him, and he was near me. I didn't need to cry because I'd miss him, because he really wasn't gone. He was still around and he could still communicate to my mind and heart. What a true blessing it was to experience that. To have the assurance that this life is not the end of us, and even though we are in different stages of our lives, Grandpa is over there and I'm still down here, we can still be together at times and communicate.
Guess what? I still pray for him. He is still alive, just without a body. Now my prayers are for the choices and opportunities he will have in the spirit world before I get to see him again. I also pray to let him know how much I love and care for him. I do miss my grandpa. Tears do come to my eyes from time to time as I consider him and reminisce the good times we had together and the moments he shared with me.
I loved his memorial service held at my dad's church in Orem. His children shared wonderful memories of him, and they all thought of him as the best daddy. He taught them the values of a good character, hard work, car repair, spending time with family, good food, and most of all, love. I hope to get many of those memories recorded on familysearch.org so his legacy may live on and his posterity for generations to come can look back on his life and know they come from good stock. ;)
I love you Grandpa! Thanks for letting me know you're not really gone. That has turned the sadness of saying our earthly goodbye into a joyful "see-you-in-a-few." It's just as you jokingly used to say Grandpa, "It's Howdy Doody Time," and "It's all your fault!" Don't have too much fun without me, and if you could, just sorta give me some pointers and help as I try to make good choices in this life.