4 months ago we celebrated Grandpa's 90th birthday, 1 month ago he suffered a stroke but was well on the road to recovery. 1 week ago we suddenly learned he wouldn't be with us much longer.
Our family gathered to spend as much time with him as we could. Many tears were shed, but also true to Gordon Bench humor, we had many laughs- right up until the end. As a nurse I have seen my share of death and dying. But holding my grandpa's hand and laying next to him powerless to do anything about it just about broke my heart.
We were so blessed to have wonderful hospice nurses and caretakers there around the clock to take care of his every need, including those of his sweet wife Jean. During the last 2 days that he was with us, his body was slowly shutting down and he was no longer responding verbally. But every once in a while he would raise his eyebrows just to let us know he was still there. I gave him morphine every hour to make him more comfortable and told him how much I love him.
It was a very powerful and poignant moment when he finally slipped away on Dec. 11, 2010 at 6:27 pm. Of course it was very sad, but with family surrounding him in love it was a fitting farewell to send him on to his joyous reunion with loved ones on the other side.
I will never forget all the wonderful times with my grandfather and for the enduring legacy he left for those that knew him. He was a staple at every family event and milestone in our lives and I have no regrets about anything at all. I feel that I took advantage of every opportunity to spend time with him and was lucky to live so close and be his "chauffeur" for the past 3 years.
As much as we miss our grandfather, father, and friend here on earth, it is comforting to know that he is no longer suffering and is with those who passed before him that were no doubt waiting with open arms.
LOVE YOU GRANDPA.