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25 January 2014 @ 04:35 pm
Where Night Is Quiet And Sleep Is Rest.  
My grandfather turned 94 on Monday. He passed away this morning with my grandmother at his side.

We knew it was coming, he held on several days longer than we had thought he would, but it’s still a strange thought, that he is gone now. My grandma spent the night with him at the nursing home, holding his hand - they were married 70 years. He went early this morning, the last of his siblings to pass on.

My grandpa was always my hero. He is the man I learned to tell a story from. He told the best stories, about what life was like in his younger days, about the war and being in the Navy, about the mishaps that come with running a working farm. He’d start telling these stories and Grandma would say, “Those kids don’t want to hear that story, leave them alone,” but I did want to hear his stories. He had this way about speaking, this way of weaving these tales, that could captivate a room. He would have made a fantastic traveling bard. He wasn’t a writer, but he was a storyteller. I encouraged him at one point to write all his stories down, talked about loaning him my mini-recorder so he could just weave his magic and I would transcribe it for him. But there was never enough time. Too much to do around the farm, too many things to fix and build and plant. And now his stories are lost, except in the minds of those who got the pleasure of hearing him tell one. I know I learned my writing skills through various places, trial and error, but I learned how to tell a story - how to make my words dance and spin and pull you in, wrap you up in the tale - from my grandfather.

He was a husband, a father, a grandfather, a great-grandfather, a brother, a WWII veteran, a Navy man, a farmer, a builder, a reader, a cook, a card player, a map enthusiast, a lover of tractors and dogs, a golfer, a storyteller and the head of a very large, very close-knit family that loves him dearly.

He was my hero and I will miss him more than my words can express.
 
 
 
wolfrider89: D/C hugwolfrider89 on January 25th, 2014 10:04 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry for your loss, honey. *hugs* He sounds like he was a great grandpa. Sending good thoughts for you and your family. <3
dodger_sister: griefdodger_sister on February 2nd, 2014 07:50 pm (UTC)
Thank you, darling. He really was a great grandpa and a great man too. It's been a long stressful week, trying to get all the arrangements together, but we're hanging in there. <3
wolfrider89: D/C hugwolfrider89 on February 3rd, 2014 07:25 pm (UTC)
*all the hugs*
Denidenig37 on January 25th, 2014 10:27 pm (UTC)
*hugs*
dodger_sister: griefdodger_sister on February 2nd, 2014 07:51 pm (UTC)
/hugs back/ Thanks. <3s
Shirebound: heart red - Primula Bagginsshirebound on January 25th, 2014 11:20 pm (UTC)
What a beautiful tribute, my friend. I know you'll miss him every day.

they were married 70 years... That's truly awesome.
dodger_sister: griefdodger_sister on February 2nd, 2014 07:55 pm (UTC)
What a beautiful tribute, my friend.

Thank you. <3 There were so many things I wanted to say about him, so many of his stories I wanted to tell here, but that made me think about his storytelling abilities and I decided this was the thing I wanted to say most, here in this space where I share all my stories.

they were married 70 years... That's truly awesome.

Isn't it? It's beautiful. They married when my grandma was 18 years old and in 2013 they celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary. The nursing home made them a cake and took some pictures, including one where Grandpa was insisting on feeding a piece of cake to Grandma. So sweet.
Ironlily - Making My Marquevikingprincess on January 25th, 2014 11:20 pm (UTC)
Oh, darling - regardless of being expected, I'm so sorry. It's got to be comforting to know your grandmother got to be there, though.

Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow or next week, but maybe before too much time goes away... you can start writing down those stories, and getting them from the other people who heard them, too.

*hugs*
dodger_sister: griefdodger_sister on February 2nd, 2014 08:02 pm (UTC)
Oh, darling - regardless of being expected, I'm so sorry. It's got to be comforting to know your grandmother got to be there, though.

We'd been saying for awhile we thought it was time for him to let go. He was barely even there most days and we know Grandpa would not want to live like that. We wanted him to rest. But yeah, once it happened, it was just so surreal and sad, to think of him as gone now. I am so glad Grandma stayed through that night and that she not only got to be with him, but that she got to be alone with him (so many people up there with her during the last week) - that it was just the two of them, together, at the end.

Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow or next week, but maybe before too much time goes away... you can start writing down those stories, and getting them from the other people who heard them, too.

Apparently you and my brother are on the same page on this. He pulled out his mini-recorder and found my Grandpa on there telling stories at a family function a few years back. He's going to clean it up and burn it for Grandma. He always wants to get as many people as possible to, maybe in a few months, write up their favorite stories about Grandpa/favorite of Grandpa's stories and share them on Facebook and then we can put them all together in a book like form for Grandma.

I already have one story of his written up because I used it in a children's book I wrote about a boy and his grandpa.

Thanks. /hugs back/ It's been a long strange week, for sure.
Ironlily - Making My Marquevikingprincess on February 2nd, 2014 11:07 pm (UTC)
I think it's wonderful that your brother has those recordings, and that you've already written one of the stories you recall out. I can't think of a better memorial to pass down in the family than that.

*huge hugs*
rockstarpeachrockstarpeach on January 26th, 2014 01:25 am (UTC)
I'm so, so sorry for your loss.

Grandparents can hold a very special place in our lives, a place that can't ever be filled.

It's funny, this comes at a time when I'm thinking very intensely about grandparents and their birthdays and such...

Mine have the same birthday (tomorrow) and they're both still around, but I'm in the highly unfortunate position of having to wonder if that's for the best, given their mental health at this point.

Oh God, I'm going to cry.

Fuck.
dodger_sister: griefdodger_sister on February 2nd, 2014 08:13 pm (UTC)
Thank you, darling.

Grandparents can hold a very special place in our lives, a place that can't ever be filled.

It's really true. For me, my home life growing up was less than ideal, but going to my grandparents was like my escape, my safe place to be. You'd walk in the front door and know Grandpa would be there with a delicious meal and a deck of cards and no judgment about anything. (Except if you were driving a foreign car - he couldn't let that one go). ;)

Mine have the same birthday (tomorrow) and they're both still around, but I'm in the highly unfortunate position of having to wonder if that's for the best, given their mental health at this point.

How cool that they share a birthday! But yeah, that's where we were with Grandpa. Out of four visits to see him in a month (every Sunday), he'd sleep through two of the visits, be super confused for one visit (wanting to talk to his brother and not remembering that his brother had passed away or being insistent that he had to go get the beans planted because he'd think he was at the farm), and then there'd usually be one visit where he was semi-with it, but even then he didn't always know who I was (he'd know I was family, but he kept thinking I was his niece.) He watched two of his siblings go through the same thing and he always said he didn't want to live like that. So it was a relief and a loss at the same time.

Oh God, I'm going to cry.

Fuck.


/hugs/ It's just the worst watching the people we love grow old. I hope whatever happens with your grandparents, that at least they don't suffer. We should all be as lucky as my Grandpa, to go in a familiar place with the love of our lives at our side.
lindahoylandlindahoyland on January 26th, 2014 06:30 am (UTC)
I'm so sorry to hear of your loss.
Why not write down what you remember of your grandfather's stories as a tribute to him? I did that with the stories my Mum used to tell.
dodger_sisterdodger_sister on February 2nd, 2014 08:16 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry to hear of your loss.
Why not write down what you remember of your grandfather's stories as a tribute to him? I did that with the stories my Mum used to tell.


Thank you. <3

You know, I read all of your stories of your Mom's and they were all so fascinating (and greatly told) and even at that time I thought, "I should do this with Grandpa's stories." My little brother wants to try to get as many people as he can (probably through facebook) to write down their favorite stories that Grandpa use to tell and then have me put it all together in some sort of book. I can think of at least four of my favorites I would want to add to that. I certainly plan on sharing a few of them here as well.

It seems like the perfect way to honor the man who taught me to weave my words. :)
Trigger Warning: Lifematchboximpala on January 26th, 2014 07:26 am (UTC)
That was a lovely tribute to your grandfather. I know that is has been tough for you watching him ailing and sometimes he sounded pretty stubborn about doing things his way, which perhaps weren't always the best choices for his health. But it also sounds like he lived a rich and meaningful life and he was lucky to have his family, especially his wife, caring for him at the end.

Bless you, honey. I wish you, your sister, and all of your family well.
dodger_sister: griefdodger_sister on February 2nd, 2014 08:40 pm (UTC)
That was a lovely tribute to your grandfather.

Thank you. <3

I know that is has been tough for you watching him ailing and sometimes he sounded pretty stubborn about doing things his way, which perhaps weren't always the best choices for his health. But it also sounds like he lived a rich and meaningful life and he was lucky to have his family, especially his wife, caring for him at the end.

He was a stubborn man, but my grandmother is just as stubborn, and more often than not she would win out, which meant he took his meds and ate on schedule and all the things that actually stopped his Parkinson's from getting worse. He really did though, live a rich life. He was in the Navy and had three sons and buttload of grandkids & great-grandkids and owned the local general store, was one of the founders of the township actually, was an insurance salesman, brought and ran a farm, and was a local fixture at the diner every morning for coffee hour with all the other farmers/retired/unemployed fellas in town, right up until the day of the last stroke that landed him in the nursing home.

Bless you, honey. I wish you, your sister, and all of your family well.

Thank you so much. Honestly, I feel like I am doing okay but my poor sister is putting together most of the memorial service and I kind of can't wait for it to be over so she can finally have a moment of her own to grieve.
lanie: older coupleprincesslanie on January 27th, 2014 01:48 am (UTC)
awwww, so sorry.

we are so much alike. i felt the same about my papa, he hung the moon. he died on my birthday 2006, he was 93. i was crushed when it happened but now it just fits. i didn't have a bday cake until this year cause there was just noway to explain it to the grandkids. anyway things will get better, but i think until i die there's something everyday that makes me think of him. hugs.
dodger_sister: griefdodger_sister on February 2nd, 2014 09:01 pm (UTC)
Thank you, darling. <3 And oh goodness, your icon is utterly perfect.

we are so much alike. i felt the same about my papa, he hung the moon. he died on my birthday 2006, he was 93. i was crushed when it happened but now it just fits. i didn't have a bday cake until this year cause there was just noway to explain it to the grandkids. anyway things will get better, but i think until i die there's something everyday that makes me think of him. hugs.

I can't imagine what a joy it must have been to share a birthday with him when he was alive, but then what a heartbreak after he passed. He'd want you to celebrate it though, and to remember when him fondly when you do. I know I will celebrate my grandpa's birthday every year, even with just a simple gesture, a moment to remember. I wish I could still drink though - I was the one grandkid in the family who actually liked whiskey and Grandpa was always trying to get people to "just have one shot with me", but Grandma was such a stickler about letting him drink and if one of us would drink with him he could use that as an excuse, "I'm having a drink with my granddaughter!" I hadn't been able to have a drink with him in several years, because of the liver disease, but I certainly would like to toast him with one now.

/hugs back/ Grandpas really are the best.
fromageordeathfromageordeath on January 30th, 2014 06:55 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry for you loss. Hang in there.
dodger_sister: griefdodger_sister on February 2nd, 2014 09:04 pm (UTC)
Thank you. <3 It's been a long week, but we're getting there. Hope you are doing well, darling.
fromageordeathfromageordeath on February 3rd, 2014 04:43 pm (UTC)
I'm doing fine.I hope you're OK, and that you got some rest.