Big Daddy

Wednesday, November 19, 2008 / Comments (3) / by elizabeth

my grandfather is dying. i don't know how else to put it to make it sound better or more poetic or flowery or nice, because it's true. he's dying.

he's been getting progressively worse for a few weeks and we're not sure why he's still here - he should be gone by now. last night the nurse asked my aunt if there was any child or grandchild he hadn't talked to yet, because there's a reason he's hanging on. and sherrie told her there was one (me) and the nurse told her i needed to talk to him.

so my mom called me this morning and told me she would call me when she got to his room. i had a couple of hours before then, so in true elizabeth fashion i wrote a post it note of all things i wanted to say to him. i mean, it could be - probably would be - the last time i talked to him this side of eternity.

what do you say to the man who has the most generous spirit of anyone you've ever known? how can you tell him he is a wonderful grandfather? that he raised three amazing children and six incredible grandchildren? that he's forgiven and i can't wait to see him again one day? that i'm sorry he will never meet my husband, or get to be a great-grandfather? that I love him?

when the phone rang i was prepared with my list in hand. i went to the bathroom (no use crying in front of everyone at work) and waited for my mom to put the phone to his ear. when i realized he was listening, all i said was, "i love you, big daddy." and i kept repeating it, because it was the only thing that would come out.

i think it's okay that i couldn't read my list - i know that he heard everything i was trying to say.

in the end, all that really matters is that we know we are loved.


***UPDATE 11/22/2008
My grandfather died on 11/20/2008. My family asked me to read this blog post at his graveside service. It was an honor.

3 comments:

mrs007 @ November 19, 2008 at 8:52 PM

Big Daddy knows you love him and you know he loves you...you are right....that is all that matters :) It seems too simple ,but it's not is it? Love you E

sash @ November 20, 2008 at 12:02 AM

I love you! It's amazing what people are saying about your grandfather. Since he has fallen ill I have heard the kindest things about him from people that I didn't know knew him. You have been lucky to have him. Despite mistakes he may have made, I truly believe he changed the world (even if only slightly) with his kindness. When the inevitable happens, he will be missed. Not only by his family but by the lives he has touched in his several years here.

olivia @ November 20, 2008 at 12:55 AM

i think that was enough. he got it. i hope you feel peaceful with that.