It’s been a rough few days. My grandfather is dying, in his nursing home. He is almost 98 years old (his birthday is in February), and he has had a blessed life. He has 7 children, all of whom are constantly by his bedside, as well as many grandchildren, and even more great-grandchildren. He seems to be comfortable, though weak. And unlike many, he has had the opportunity to say goodbye. Several days ago his children were called, and my grandpa spent that day with them, saying goodbye, and telling them he missed their mother. My grandmother passed away in October of 2012. Grandpa is ready to go. But, selfishly, I don’t want him to go. My grandparents have been the best grandparents I could have ever asked for. And because my other set of grandparents passed away when I was very young, these grandparents were really the only ones I had. They were always there for me. They were the ones who took care of me when I was sick and my parents had to work. They were the ones who had me over for lunch every single school day when I was in grade 7 and grade 8 because they lived across the street from my school. They were there for plays, graduations, wedding celebrations, and baby showers. When I ran away from home as a teenager (for a few days – don’t ask), guess where I went? Yes. I went to my grandparents’ house. Needless to say, I have had a special relationship with them, and I have been extremely close with them. I had regular phone conversations with my grandmother, and sometimes with my grandpa who wasn’t as chatty as my grandma (I take after her in that way, and in many others!). My grandfather had a stroke when I was pregnant with my 7 year old son, and so since then it hasn’t been easy having conversations with him. He mostly just says, “Amen!” and, “My little honeybun!”. But he has always had a smile on his face. And now, lying in his bed and dying, weak and unable to eat or drink, my grandfather is still smiling. He is trying to say, “Amen!”, but he can’t get many of those “Amen”s out anymore. I went to visit him yesterday, just to be with him for a few hours while he lay in bed. I know there is nothing I can do – I fully accept that – but I wanted to see him. I want to make sure I get to see him as much as I can before… I cannot. I tear up with that thought, and, honestly, I can’t imagine a time when I won’t have him there. Yesterday I wanted to tell him how wonderful a grandfather he has been. I don’t think I have ever done that before. I wanted to tell him how much I love him. I wanted to hold his hand. I wanted to tell him I was there. And I did. I got that chance. It doesn’t make the thought of losing him any easier. It doesn’t make me less sad. But it was something. I didn’t get that chance with my grandma. And it kills me every day. Below is a picture that was taken before my grandfather’s stroke. I love it and I choose today to remember my grandpa and grandma like that: happy and smiling, loving, and healthy. I love you both. Thank you for all you did for me and all you mean to me.