Me with Granpere
Casey, my Dad, and I were supposed to go see him Saturday, but Thursday early evening, my Dad got a call from my aunt that he'd better come now. My parents and my sister loaded up the car and called me on their way (who was working late at my office downtown). I wasn't prepared for that phone call, or in my case phone calls, but I'm not sure you can ever be fully prepared. I was in my boss's office when the calls were made, so I knew something was up when I returned to my desk to a missed call and voice mails from both parents and Casey had tried to call 4 times. I didn't know what to do, they had just left Katy and offered to come get me, but I still had work that needed to be done, and catch a bus ride out to my side of town to get my vehicle. It's another one of those decisions where you don't know what to do, but you have to decide quickly (leaving work was an easy choice). They weren't sure if they would make it in time either. I told them to go on because I didn't want them to be waiting on me and take away from the precious time with this sweet man. I didn't know if Casey could come with work, but thankfully my incredible husband didn't hesitate to offer to drive me 3 hours at night to see my last living grandparent. (Btw, I have made his shoulders my permanent Kleenex for life now)
Granpere passed away before Casey and I were able to make it to Waco, but I'll always be glad that my parents, Andrea, and my Aunt Mimi were there with him. My parents and sister barely made it time they said when they greeted us at the entrance to his nursing home, but my Aunt Mimi told him we were coming. I'll always think that he held on till he could see my Dad one more time and know that I was trying to get there to see him. I was sad at first that we weren't there, but once we went in to see him, I was so glad he didn't wait for Casey and I. I was at peace knowing the last time I saw him we gave each a hug, I kissed his cheek, and told him that I loved him. There's not much of a better way to leave things is there?
My grandfather was a great man. See, he was very proud of his Louisiana Cajun heritage and the french word for grandfather is "grand-père", which ended up being pronounced "gran-pear". How I loved him so much. To me, he was pretty much one of the sweetest and kindest old man there was and oh, how he loved his family. My grandmother and him raised my father and his sister in a way you can't do nothing but admire in my opinion. I look at back at how my Dad parented me over the years and see the continuation of how Granpere parented my father. The importance of doing what's right and standing up for it, carrying out your commitments, helping those in need, loving your family, and so on. I seriously could go on forever about how wonderful he was.
I think back on the MANY memories I had with him. I remember when he came to the emergency room at Memorial City hospital to see me when I broke my arm, how he would come to any school or Girl Scout cermonies, the sleepovers we had at his house after my grandmother passed away (which always involved going to Blockbuster to rent movies and Shipley's donuts), feeding the ducks at his old office, going to the rock & gem shows they had each year at the George R. Brown (Granpere was a geologist and LOVED rocks), and seeing me graduate from high school and Texas A&M. I remember the times we laughed, such as the time he gave my Dad money to get a hair cut because he thought it was too long. My love of banana Laffy Taffy came from Granpere because he had a jar of them at his house frequently when we would go visit his house growing up. His refrigerator was usually stocked with some Yoo-hoo's, which my sister and I loved too! I lost count on how many times we would go to the Dairy Queen by his house to get a dipped cone!
Granpere's memory was never good, he'd forget birthdays and other important dates unless you reminded him. When I was away at college, Andrea would talk to him when my Dad called to check on him, and I guess he thought that by talking to her it meant it was close to her birthday, so Andrea got several birthday cards with money. Not that I wanted money from grandfather, it just amazed me how he never remembered that our birthdays were 6 days apart, but hey it made me laugh, so perhaps that was the purpose of it. I've always felt that Granpere and my sister Andrea had a special relationship different than my own with him or his other granddaughters. With both of them having memory issues, it just warmed your heart to see them go back and forth with each other saying the same things, and never grow tired of it.
Our separation is only temporary, how great is that?! Knowing that I'll see him again one day and then we'll never be separated again is so comforting. He may be gone now, but I'll have the memories forever and my love for him will never cease. Thank you Granpere for loving me and showing me how to do that to others, to be kind and sweet, and always be there for others. I miss watching you laugh, saying "hey babe" when you saw me, your wonderful heart, and so many other things. I'm glad you're home now, and I'll see you again one day.
"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing" 2 Timothy 4:7-8