My Grandpa George--Mike's father--died early this morning and managed with his superb timing to play a little joke on Grandma Grace. If you've seen the previous post, you know that this is Grandma's birthday. She would have turned 88 today. What M and J and my Aunt Julia and some other relatives (including your humble blogger!) think is cool about this--even though we all hated to lose Grandpa--is that it was last May 27th when Grandma died on his birthday! The way I see it is, if we have to do such depressing things, why not at least leave folks with something to smile and scratch their heads about?
Because Grandpa was so sick and had been moved to a place called a hospice, M and J drove over to Tampa to spend his final hours with him--and they took me with them! It was my first road trip. Well, I was on my best behavior the whole time and fit right in. The hospice nurses and workers liked having me there, and one of them kept feeding me graham crackers and showed me some pictures of her own two dogs.
In one little case of mistaken identity, as we were going into the building, a lady was coming out with a group of children and when she saw me she said, "Oh, look, kids, it's one of those feel-good dogs!" I didn't know what she meant until M clued me in, and later a nurse said I would make a good therapy dog, which it turns out means the same thing. I think if I had to work for a living, that's what I'd do.
All afternoon and evening, as we sat in Grandpa's room and the people talked to him (but he didn't talk back--at least not out loud), they'd squeeze his shoulder and say stuff like, "Only four more hours, Daddy. You can do it!" or "Thirty-six minutes 'til Grandma's birthday. Hang in there, Grandpa!" And when midnight finally came, they cheered (very softly!) and said, "Yay! You did it! Thanks, Grandpa--what a great joke!"
Julia said she's pretty sure Grandpa could hear us encouraging him and that he was determined to make it happen. But it must have taken a real effort. When M and J and Julia and I left the hospice a little after midnight to go get some sleep at Julia's house, we barely got there when we got a call that Grandpa was slipping fast. We hurried back over and arrived about ten minutes past one. But he had died at 12:45. We sat around for a couple of hours feeling kind of numb and then went home again.
I'll write more about Grandpa in the weeks ahead. But right now I'm pretty wiped out. In the meantime here is a nice picture of him:
New Post! Exciting News About Our Picture Book!
2 weeks ago