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.
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 away...at 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.