I thought I was ready for it, but I wasn't. It was heartbreaking. Sunday afternoon we went in for a visit and shortly after he took a turn for the worse. It was aweful to see him in so much pain. His cancer progressed and needed so much pain medicine that he slipped into a deep sleep for over 24 hours. I was fortunate enough to spend the whole time with him thanks to Spencer and my in-laws. At 11:30 last night we were all in the room and I went and layed on the couch and my mom walked into the hall and my grandma sat down right next to him so it was just the two of them. He took one deep breath, opened his eyes and looked at her and passed away. He was waiting till it was just the two of them. It was so sweet. I am so grateful that I could be there during his final hours and after. I had many amazing spiritual experiences.
I had a long time to think about things while he was in his deep sleep. I got to spend a lot of time with him alone and tell him things I really wanted to and say goodbye. I had time to reflect on the memories I am hanging onto to get me through this.
Everytime I walked in the door to there house Grandpa would get a huge smile on his face and put his finger on his cheek so I would kiss it. When i was pregnant with my babies he would grab me as I walked past his chair and talk to my tummy. After my babies were born he was there to see them within hours of having them. My grandma and grandpa would come to visit us sometimes 4 or 5 times a week when we lived in Lethbridge and they would always have a pack of timbits. He always cried when he held my babies. He was so soft hearted. When I lived with them before we got married my coat was stolen at church (go figure) and he was so upset about it. The next day he took me to Lethbridge and insisted on buying me not one coat, but 3. He was so extremely loyal and his family was EVERYTHING to him. He was so protective of us. I got the sweetest facebook message from one of my very best friends just hours before he died and she mentioned how she remembers how happy he was to hear me sing. He always bought seasons passes to the shows for the 5 summers I did summer theatre and was so dedicated to coming to those shows.
I have such fond memories of him but the best one was while he was in the hospital. He had been there for a few weeks and knew that he was slipping quickly. I came to visit him and he pulled me up on his bed and wrapped his arms around me and told me how much he loved me and how proud he was of me.
This has made me really think about family. My grandpa and grandma loved each other so much and did everything for each other, there kids, grandkids and great grandkids. We all loved him so much and craved being around him. I just hope that someday I can look back at my life and feel like I have that many people that i have made an impact on that many people and have that many people that love me. I hope that Spencer and I can have a relationship just like theres. They had so much spunk and they were always laughing at each other and having so much fun. My grandpa has loved her since he was in Grade 5. They have the most adorable love story. When he was sick quite often I would walk into his room and they were both snuggled up on that tiny little hospital bed fast asleep. It was so sweet.
As I layed down on the couch just before he died I was in between awake and sleep and I imagined his tiny 2 year old Kathleen reaching her little arms out for her daddy and him wrapping his arms around her and hugging her so tightly. I can't even imagine how hard it was for them to lose her at such a young age and how amazing it was for him to see his little girl again. I know that we can do the same someday.
Thank you everyone for your phone calls, texts, comments and messages. I have felt so much love and support from so many people.
I love you Grandpa "Chicken"! I will miss you so much!