Thursday, October 16, 2008

Saying goodbye

My grandfather (Grandpa Duke) passed away yesterday. Although he was elderly, and had been ill for a long time, it was still difficult for me to say goodbye. We had known for a few days that the end was near. I actually expected to get the call some time on Tuesday, but I never did. On Wednesday morning, we were all running late, and then Bryn decided she didn't want to go to daycare (which is very unlike her - she's never done that). Knowing I was going to be late anyway, I decided to let her stay home with me for a few minutes. Ben and G had only been gone for a few minutes, when I got the call that my grandfather had passed. I made through the call strong, but once I hung up the phone, the tears came. I was still holding Bryn, and she was amazingly empathetic. She just held me, sighed, and let me cry. It was such a tender moment, and I felt like my grandpa was there too, watching me.

After I was through crying, she cheered up, and asked to go to daycare. I think she knew I would need her that morning.

My grandfather had suffered from Parkinson's disease, and recently had broken his hip and femur. I do think he was ready to go. Monday he called all 7 of his children to tell them he loved them. He knew it was time to go.



My grandpa was born in the early 1920s in a small agricultural building on his family's farm. He ended up being a very successful man, and he's always been such an example to me of hard work. He loved gardening, and has instilled in me a love of making things grow. He was a talented woodworker, and I'm blessed to have many of the things he made. He had recently (on September 25) celebrated his 64th wedding anniversary, and the relationship he shared with my grandmother is a great example. He left such a legacy, and I'll miss him. I do believe that he's now in a place where he can walk again, and is free from pain. And although I do think he was ready, it is still difficult to say goodbye.

17 comments:

beeeeeeeee said...

Will be thinking of you today. Thanks for sharing your memories of your grandfather.

Ruhiyyih Rose said...

What a beautiful tribute to your grandfather. Those photos are amazing - what a legacy indeed! I hope you get the time that you need to process the sorrow. Hugs across the miles to you!

Jen said...

What a great post! I'm sure your grandfather is very proud of who you are! I love the pictures and the memories. Hugs!!!

Koreena said...

Those are such beautiful pictures and beautiful words. I'm so sorry for your loss. Even with the knowledge of eternal families, it's still always hard to say goodbye for now. (((HUGS)))

Julia said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. I know how I felt when my Grandma passed. Even though I know she'd in a better place, probably looking down on me and hopefully proud, she was a great loss. I wish so bad my kids would have known her.

I love this post. I'm glad your grandpa can walk again and enjoy his grandchildren from afar. But it just isn't the same thing.

Lynita said...

What a tender momen with Bryn. I am sorry about your loss, I know how it feels. But he seems like a great man and I am happy that he is at peace and was able to say his goodbyes. Reading this makes me miss my grandpa.

Jess T said...

Sorry to hear about your grandpa. I love the photos! That is really neat.

Hugs,
Jess

Lindsay said...

I'm so sorry, that is so hard. The old photo's are great.

Brenda said...

Thanks for sharing your memories and the wonderful pictures! I'm sorry about your loss.

carrie said...

Christie....What a beautiful post. I was so touched reading it. I loved how Bryn comforted you.... What a little sweetheart. As I told you, I had a hard time when I lost my Grandpa, too. I knew he was going to a much better place....but it was still hard to say goodbye. He had been such a big part of my life forever, it seemed. Your Grandpa would be so proud of what you wrote...and the pictures are great. You were so lucky to have such a special relationship with him. What a wonderful man.... Obviously he was also very loved. :o) I'm here, if you need anything.

Chelsea said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. Those pictures are amazing, and it sounds like he had a wonderful life. (((hugs)))

Anne Marie said...

Christie, I'm so sorry! I enjoyed the pictures and learning about your grandpa. It's so hard to say good-bye, even when you know it's for the best.

Tiburon said...

Christie - I swear I left a comment on both of these posts the other day! I am so sorry for your loss - what a sweet tribute for your grandpa.

Kriss said...

Christie, I'm sorry for your loss. Hugs!-kriss

Omgirl said...

I'm so sorry, Christie. That must be hard, even when he was old and ready to go. I have lost all my grandparents. I feel for you.

Holly said...

I am so sorry Christie. That is a beautiful post dedicated to him!

kari said...

I'm sorry to hear about your grandpa. Thanks for sharing his story, and yours.