Friday, March 13, 2009

The Gift of Time

My grandfather passed away just a little over a year ago from a devastating disease- Alzeimers. He taught us so much about the important things in life: faith in God, the importance of family and friendship, and love.

I was really trying to get this post done for that year date (March 7th) but just couldn't get it all put together by then. These are some thoughts I had written down last year when I was given a most beautiful gift- the gift of time to spend with my Grandpa.

• Sitting at lunch at the Masonic Home dining hall--- he looked over at me and so kindly said; “you know that I know who you are- I can’t always remember your name- but I know who you are.” Grandpa said this because all the nurses, aids, and therapists kept asking him who was with him & he would look at me with such loving eyes and would try to come up with the right words. He would sometimes say ‘my daughter-in-law’ or sometimes ‘my granddaughter’. Sometimes he would say Kath or Kathie. I told him I knew it gets confusing sometimes with my mom’s name & my name being the same.

• At the hospital the second time—Uncle John asked Grandpa if he knew who I was. "Grandpa looked at me with such loving eyes and nodded his head. He couldn’t say anything, but I could tell just by looking in his eyes that he knew me. I said; “you know who I am don’t you Grandpa?” and he nodded again.

• Grandpa telling me about his war buddies— "If you saw one of them you saw the other ones. Good friends are what get you through."

• Telling me about him being the baby in the family, his dad dying when he was 7 or 8. He went out in his car and it had just snowed, his sister left for work and found his car in a ditch not far from their home. He went everywhere with his mother, church, cards. They never had a lot of money, but they had what they needed. As soon as they were old enough they had to pay room and board.

• He was not drafted when he was 18 because he had a dependent- his mother. But when he was 19, he was drafted because then it didn’t matter if you had dependents or not.

• He was in the army for over 3 years. He had met Margaret before going to war, and they fell in love writing letters back and forth.

• I told him that I wish I had gotten to know Margaret & he said: "I wish you did too."

• Grandpa giving us the gift of time to say good-bye to him.

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