Saturday, March 30, 2013

One last day...

I don't usually post personal things on this blog, but it seemed like the most practical way to post these pictures so they'd be available to any friends and family who want to see them.

What a blessing a day can be...

My Granddad's health has been slowly going down hill.

And then this week he's deteriorated quickly.

He lives about 4 hours away.  A good friend agreed to watch Anson and Becca yesterday, so I was able to go up Thursday night and then stay all day.

I felt a little selfish for being in such a hurry and not waiting for the weekend when Eric would just be home with the kids.

But I'm so glad I went.

It was his last day.

I went to help out how I could and say goodbye.

I wish he'd held on long enough for my uncle and cousins to get there to say goodbye too, but Granddad was ready to go.  Granddad said so himself, several times. 

I brought my camera and snapped pictures all day.

Granddad had a weak heart and his heart and lungs had been weakened by chemotherapy for leukemia.  All of those conditions combined to mean that his body simply could not get enough oxygen to his cells and he was very tired.

In the morning he was tired and struggled to breath, but he was truly himself.  He was putting his affairs in order, being as careful and meticulous as ever.  He joked, and smiled.  He talked with his hands.  He was frail and weak, but the same kind man I've known my whole life.

He didn't begin using a wheelchair until the last few hours of his life.  Until then we walked himself with a little help.
My Nana was the most attentive and loving caregiver anyone could ask for. They have been married for over 60 years.

By the afternoon Granddad was noticeably less present.  Some of it was the medications he was on, and I think some of it was that he was beginning to go.

About an hour before I left, Granddad was sleeping in his wheelchair and I was rubbing his shoulders a bit.  He reached up and grabbed my hand for a bit, and I think that's the last time while I was there that he was really aware of me.

I left to come home to my family and while I was driving home, Eric got the call that Granddad had passed home, in his own bed, with Nana and my parents beside him.

Granddad was an engineer and craftsman.  I think he could build just about anything out of wood...from small things to bridges.  I like to think I take after him in some small way, although we work in different mediums...he in wood and metal and leather...and I in fabric.  Granddad has gone on to meet the Great Engineer and Craftsman of our universe.  I am sad for me and my family who will miss him, but I am happy him.  Granddad is no longer struggling for every breath, that he has been reunited with his family who has gone before.

I have a firm belief in the eternal nature of families.  I believe that I will see him again, and that our family can be together forever in the eternities.  This Easter as we celebrate the atonement and resurrection of our Savior, I will also be celebrating the day when my Granddad will be able to be resurrected in a perfect form, one that will never grow old, one that does not have to struggle for breath, and one that will be healthy and fit for him to continue the work he loves.

Pin It


  1. Thank you for sharing this, Polly. I have tears in my eyes, but like you, I understand that it is "okay" for him to move on. How thankful I am that I got to know him a little bit. I love your photos. I know he will be missed dearly, but what a wonderful legacy he leaves here. My love to all!

  2. What a lovely tribute to your grandfather. 'Sending you a hug. ((Polly)) -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

  3. Oh, Polly, so sorry to hear. Thoughts, hugs and prayers from Denmark.

  4. I am so sorry for your loss. So wonderful that you got to see him in his last hours. It looks like he spent his remaining time as one should. Surrounded by love.

  5. So sorry for your loss but what a wonderful Blessing you were able to spend his last day with him and that he was surrounded by a loving family when he passed on.

  6. I have no connection to any of these people, and here I am tearing up. Whether or not someone is ready to go, it still is a void. I can think of no better way to go than to be surrounded by those who love you. My prayers are with your family.

  7. Thank you, my darling Polly. I know my Dad will be greeting him with open arms. They were so you!

  8. Polly I am sorry for your loss, but I know you will see him again someday. I am totally tearing up. I am glad he had his family there to support him and shower him with love on his last day.

  9. I had tears in my eyes when I read your post. Thanks for sharing a sweet and poignant experience. My grandpa's health has also been declining for the past year and I tried to visit him this week as well. He couldn't see us because of a highly contagious double eye infection that was making him miserable and because he didn't want to pass any germs to our little ones...I hate going away thinking it might be the last time...but it is reality. I appreciate the tender reminder of the power of the Resurrection. Wishing you a wonderful Easter holiday.

  10. Thank you so much for sharing your beloved Grandfather with us! You are all so blessed. Peace to you and your family in this hard time.

  11. God bless you for having the last precious moments with him. What a perfect day to go to Heaven - Easter will be even more special tomorrow in Heaven with him there.

  12. Polly, this was beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

  13. I love the picture with him and his huge smile! It is a real one! Thanks for posting! I am SOOOOO glad that family could be there for those last moments! I hope that family is around when I leave this world! Such a great man who has a wonderful wife! You gotta love those Jenkins!

  14. What a lucky and blessed man, to go with such love from family and after a long and happy life. I'm sorry for you and all of his family and friends, but I'm sure he's happy where he now is.

  15. What a lucky and blessed man, to go with such love from family and after a long and happy life. I'm sorry for you and all of his family and friends, but I'm sure he's happy where he now is.

  16. I am so sorry for your loss. But how nice it must have been to spend one last day.
    Loss is always easier when you can say goodbye. And then to have the great reminder of our Savior and his resurrection.

  17. Polly... thanks so much for recording Kenny's last days/hours. Despite his pain and final struggle - you captured his signature smile and his stunning personality and that will be a gift we can all hold - forever. We were thrilled to have been able to visit with Nancy & Ken in Colville last autumn - Ken decked out in his new boots and hauling us around town in his new car - he was just beaming. We're looking forward to celebrating Ken amazing life with the family next weekend and can't tell you how much we appreciate this blog posting. Cousins - Patrick & Diana

  18. Polly, I am sorry for your loss. Your post made me cry. What a wonderful way to spend his last day, and what a wonderful way to home, surrounded by loving family. It is one of my hopes to be able to go that way. I am so glad you were able to be there.


Thanks for taking the time to comment. I love hearing from you. I also love responding, so please make sure your Blogger account is set up for me to be able to see your email address or include your email address. I've had to stop accepting anonymous comments due to spam. If you don't have any other way to comment, you can always send an email.