Sunday, January 29, 2012

I love you forever.

Three days ago, God called my grandfather home after a year and a half long battle with cancer.  He went peacefully, surrounded by family members and friends who loved him.  Without going into too much detail regarding the details of this last week, I will say that the cancer had spread so badly that ultimately the oncologist said that right now the best thing to do was to treat the pain and make him as comfortable as possible, and that no further treatment options were available.  We were able to bring him home from the hospital with hospice's help and he passed at home, just like he always said he wanted to. 

About two hours before he passed, I was leaving to take the kids home to put them to bed.  I bent down by his ear and I said, "Grandpa, it's Mandy.  I'm going to take the kids home now.  You just rest.  I know how blessed I was to have you as a grandpa and give you these sweet great grandbabies to take fishing with you.  I love you.  I love you forever."  I stroked his cheek with the back of my hand and kissed his forehead and left. 

A little after midnight, my mom called me and told me that he'd gone.  She told me that about five minutes before, his dog (Sandy, a golden retriever) who had been out in the yard approached his open window and began to whine to be let into the house.  My uncle got up to let her in and she came straight to my grandpa's side and began to lick his hand.  My mom and uncles told Grandpa, "Look, Dad, there's Sandy."  My mom said that Sandy licked his hand and licked up and down his arm and licked his hand some more.  Within a minute, he breathed out his last labored breath and did not take another.  Then there was nothing.  Just peace. 

My grandpa was a very special man to me.  Words cannot begin to express how sad I am that he is gone, but how relieved I am that he is no longer hurting, no longer in pain, no longer struggling.  I know that he is at rest, I know that he is at peace.  I also feel really fortunate to have received confirmation from my grandfather himself prior to his passing regarding his salvation.  I know that I will see him again one day.


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