Wednesday, November 30, 2011

They called his name...

This morning my grandfather passed away.  In October, he celebrated his 98th birthday with a quiet lunch with my aunt and uncle at the dining hall of the assisted living facility he has lived in for the last few years.  I spoke with him on the phone that day.  I know I told him I loved him, but I still regret not calling him last week when it crossed my mind at Thanksgiving.  Truthfully, until early last spring - he hadn't had much "assistance".  He was living in one of their "senior apartments" where the assistance was that he could ride his little scooter to the dining hall in the other wing and have one large meal a day (he ate breakfast cereal every morning in his apartment and just usually had a light snack in the evenings), some light housekeeping and they checked that he wasn't hurt or dead once a day (he had to hang a little green tag on his doorknob or they would check on him).  A year ago in September, he finally sold his car because he didn't want to pay for the garage fee and he didn't drive much anyway.  The girl at the DMV had teased him about not having to renew his license again when he got it renewed at 95. 
Me, my children and my Grandpa - Late Aug 2011
He still took a few trips here and there up until the last 18 months or so when his walking just got too slow.  For his 95th birthday, it was a Mexican cruise!  He loved baseball more than anything and always bought the MLB package each spring and summer so he could watch as many games as were being played.  I know he was just thrilled when the Cards won the series this year.  He even managed to go to quite a few Cardinals games with his bank's travel club over the last decade or so (after my grandmother passed in 2000). 

He had two children.  One was my father.  I know that burying him in 2010 broke his heart.  My aunt was with him when he passed.  She told my sister that last night he told her "they" were calling his name.  But he couldn't tell her who "they" were.  And he said that his name was written up there.  I'd like to think it was my grandmother (his wife of nearly 65 years) and his other friends and family that have gone before him calling for him.  And that it was St. Peter writing his name in his book that he saw.  He had been deteriorating pretty quickly since a couple of falls this last spring had him move to a higher level of care.  He went peacefully, but I will still miss him greatly.

He didn't want a service and he will be cremated with his remains placed in the cemetery with my grandmother's at a later date.  I feel a little lost as I feel like I should be "doing" something.  But there really isn't anything to do other than be grateful that he is at peace.  He had a very blessed life.  He lived through and saw a lot of incredible things.  From dating my grandmother on horseback, to scraping by during the depression on my grandmother's teaching salary, to building airplanes during WWII, to raising two kids while selling washing machines and later TVs, to being a business owner (first filling station to offer a free car wash with fillup in Wichita, KS), to traveling the world with my grandmother (he once told me his favorite trip was to China), to enjoying the local dinner theatre in his more recent home of Raymore, MO - it was quite a 98 years on this planet and I am so blessed to have had him be my grandfather.


  1. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family on your loss

  2. I am sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you and your family.

  3. it really sounds like he lived a full and wonderful life, which is what we all hope for. my thoughts are with your family right now!

  4. Sorry for your loss but it sounds like he left behind some really nice memories.

  5. I'm so sorry for your loss! Thinking of you and sending a big hug!