Missing you Grandpa

A year ago today, will forever be burned into my mind. I remember waking up to a phone call at 1 am. I was still half asleep and annoyed that someone was calling me. Then I realized, if someone is calling me at two in the morning, it's probably important. I picked up my phone, to hear my mothers voice on the other line.
"Grandpa's passing," she said to me, and my heart froze up. Tears were already making their way out of my eyes, and I don't believe I made a sound. "Dad needs you to drive down to Saint George with him, so that he doesn't fall asleep on the road."
I said okay, and hung up the phone. I woke my husband from his sleep and he wrapped me in a warm embrace while I sobbed into his shoulder. I got ready as quickly as I could and met my father at the gas station down the street.
We drove mostly in silence. What could I say to my father, when every second could be his father's last? The drive was a long and hard one. Both of us had hardly any sleep and our eyes were red and tired. We'd have to keep pulling off on an exit in the middle of no where to sleep for just a little bit. Every time my uncle would send a text to my dad our hearts would race, and we would get up and drive again, hoping that none of those texts were the ones telling us grandpa was gone.
I remember the stars that morning, while we were pulled off  on the side of the road. They were bright, and beautiful, due to the fact there was no street lights, homes, or businesses anywhere within sight. I wished that my heart were happy enough to enjoy them, but I could not. All I could think about was getting to grandpa in time.
We finally made it to the hospital, at 6 AM. There had been no more texts from my uncle so we were a little worried, and hoped he had just gone to sleep. When we walked into the hospital room we saw my Uncle Kerry, and his family, scattered around the room, and my grandmother always by my grandpas side. Everyone told her she should get some rest, but she refused.
They told us that my Uncle Greg who had been the one to text us, had taken his family to go and get some sleep in their hotel room. Uncle Kerry and his family were about to do the same.
When they left, it was just my father, grandmother, grandpa, and I. I remember watching him struggle with his breathing. Hearing the rattle that you only hear when one was about to pass. I just wanted to hug him, and hear him tell me he loved me, maybe even make a sarcastic joke or two, but he was silent, and his eyes were closed.
I stood next to him, and held his hand, and whispered "I love you grandpa."
I was happy that we had made it before he passed so I could tell him  how much I loved him. He and I had shared a birthday, and celebrated together every year. We had a bond that I can't quite explain. I did sometimes resent that we had a birthday together, because most of the time when we celebrated together, no one remembered it was my birthday as well. As I sat in the hospital room, realizing we wouldn't be sharing any more birthdays together, I also realized what a privileged it was to share a birthday with such a great man. A man who was wise, sarcastic, funny, and loved his family dearly.
The nurse came in and asked my grandmother if they should turn his oxygen down, to have him pass sooner. After she asked my father and I what we thought, we told her it was ultimately her decision. She decided that, that would be okay, and they went and turned his oxygen down.
Not five minutes after that, we heard him take his last breath. My dad came to me with tears in his eyes and confirmed he was gone, and we hugged for a long while.
My grandmother gave him a goodbye kiss, and told him she loved him. We all came together for an embrace, and comforted one another. There was an amazing spirit with us that day, and when all of my family came together we really became closer to one another than we ever had been before.
I had family there who shared my pain, knew my heartache, and we helped one another to laugh even through one of the hardest times of our lives.
I'm thankful for my grandpa and everything he did for us here on this earth. If it weren't for him and my grandmother, we wouldn't have the gospel in our lives, I wouldn't have the amazing dad, and family that I have today, and none of us would truly understand sarcasm. (in case you were wondering that is very important.) I think the most important lesson he taught me, is how important family is. He had eleven children , who blessed him with 49 grandchildren, who blessed him with over 30 great grand children, and he loved every single one of them deeply.
He blessed us on, and off of this earth, and though I miss him dearly I can feel him around me everyday.
Love you grandpa.
(May 6th on my wedding day, a month before he passed. So blessed we chose to go with that date, instead of June like we had originally planned. Now I can treasure the memory of grandpa being in the temple with me, and seeing Oran and I be sealed together forever.)


Rachey Elder said...

It's so hard losing a grandparent Ash! What a great tribute to him. I love that photo of the two of you, so sweet:)

Jake and Jenessa said...

I didn't know you went down and saw him pass. How neat for you. I love you!