One week ago my grandfather passed away. It wasn’t entirely unexpected, but it was still a shock. But today’s post is about being thankful, not being sad.
When he died, my PapPap was 91 years and eleven months old. As he slipped into his eternal rest, he was surrounded by all of his children and most of his grandchildren. We were not ready for him to leave, but his body was tired and he was ready to go.
I am thankful that PapPap lived a long, full life. Until eight weeks ago, he was still living on his own.
I’m thankful that I was able to see him when he was still mentally alert. He knew who I was – and was worried about me driving home that night.
I’m thankful for the wonderful memories I have. Twice in my life I lived with my grandfather. After he had a quintuple bypass during my junior year of high school and again while I was in college. While we might have disagreed on things, I don’t recall us ever really arguing. I have many recollections of my time with Pap: Hearing his stories, complaining about the changes to Mass, “stealing” Fudgecicles from the freezer, going to church on Sundays and stopping at Dairy Queen afterwards, Pap doing the crossword puzzle at the kitchen table, and Pap ironing my school uniforms (my method of tossing them in the dryer to release the wrinkles wasn’t acceptable to him). I realize how very fortunate I am to have these memories.
I’m thankful that I know how proud PapPap was of me. He might not have explicitly said so, but I knew by the way he would excitedly comment about the travel I have done in my career and through the stories I would hear from other family members about PapPap showing off the cards, postcards and news articles I sent him. If my name was in the paper, I made sure I had a copy of the article to mail to PapPap!
So today I am thankful. Not for the loss of my grandfather’s life, but for the life I shared with him.