We knew it was coming, but we didn't know it would be now. He'd been in the hospital last week, came home on Monday. He was weak. He was 84 years old. My mother had planned to go to Texas on Saturday, spend a week there, spend some time with him. She's going to keep the same timetable, but now my father's going too.
He was in the car, on his way to a dialysis appointment, around midday. Grandma was there, and my Aunt Lois. He passed out, and he was gone before they reached the hospital. There had been an ambulance scheduled to take him to the appointment, but it ran late. It was only because of that that he was able to have two wishes granted- he was not alone when he died, and he never set foot in the hospital again.
I went to my parents' house after work. I usually go there on Thursdays to take a walk with my mom. I'd forgotten that she had a hair appointment and wouldn't be there. She was at the appointment, and so I found out before she did. Her sisters and my dad had tried to reach her, but her cell phone was turned off all day. Erica forgot about the appointment too. So we were all there and together this evening. I'm glad for that.
As a young man, during World War II, my grandfather was with the Merchant Marine on the maiden voyage of the Liberty Ship John W. Brown. I believe that there are only two Liberty Ships remaining, and that is one of them. I've been there.
My grandfather sang funny songs. "No beer today, no beer today". He raised seven daughters and a son, all of whom have children. (I'm the oldest of the grandkids.) He taught me the importance of "wine o'clock". He took lovely photographs. On a family vacation to the Outer Banks, he let us tear apart his swim trunks for the tail of a kite.
They are saying that there will probably be a service on Monday or Tuesday. I am going to try to get to Texas for that, probably Sunday or Monday. Please keep my family in your thoughts. And your prayers, if you have them.
Goodbye Grandpa. Thank you.