Today is my Grandpa’s birthday.  I was lucky enough to be able to live with him for the last year of his life.  We were both going through a tough time.  My Grandma had been gone for a few years, his health was declining and he wasn’t able to do the things that he enjoyed anymore.  He was ready to go.  My husband was in Iraq and I was home with two small kids and was trying to run a household.  We were both happy to have the other one around.

Gramps especially loved having the boys around.  He had a special relationship with Medium boy.  He loved to hold him, play with him, and give him high fives.  He had a special nickname for both of the boys, Tiger and Big Ike.  Medium boy went through a hat phase and every time he saw Gramps BYU hat he had to put it on.  Gramps left the hat on the banister during the winter for easy access to it so pretty much every time we walked down the hall I had to put the hat on Medium Boys head.

Medium Boy inherited the hat after Gramps died.  I found it in a box of winter clothes last week and it made me smile.  I have a feeling it will be worn to many more BYU football games which I know would make Gramps happy.

There were a few special moments the weekend Gramps died that I will always hold dear.  He had a stroke and didn’t want any medical attention.  He lived for three days after the stroke.  I went in during that time to thank him for letting us be here and to tell him that I love him.  He told me that he loved me too.  It was a mumble as he couldn’t speak but I know that’s what he said.  My sister was in the room and she heard it too.

The next day I was on my way to church with the boys.  I didn’t know if Gramps would still be alive when we got home so I went in to say goodbye again.  I had Medium Boy with me.  Gramps waved to Medium boy with his hand that had been paralyzed by the stroke and Medium Boy waved back.  Medium Boy was almost 15 months old and hadn’t mastered waving yet.  It was a really sweet moment to see them waving to each other, one a child who hadn’t waved much, the other an old man whose hand wasn’t supposed to be waving.

I will always be grateful for the time that I got to spend with my Grandpa.

7 thoughts on “Gramps

  1. Thank you for this post. Beautiful memories of an amazing man. Makes me miss him a lot! I always felt complete love and acceptance from Gramps. I know now that I am older that it is because of his testimony of the Savior. He lived what he believed. Not always easy to do. I miss him. Thank you for reminding me that today is his birthday and sharing a bit of your time together. I love and miss you too! xo

  2. thank you Heather, you made me cry….what a good example of enduring to the end my Dad was…falling off a ladder at the age of 80 trying to fix the rain gutters or something on the roof. I love that he wanted “Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel” sung at his funeral. We have a great legacy of wonderful righteous people for our ancestors .. we need to work on passing those qualities on. I think I had exceptional parents – not perfect in any stretch of the imagination – but loving and kind and considerate of others who had less. I miss them both! love and hugs, Mom

  3. Thank you Bubba for posting about Gramps. You are so lucky that you got to spend so much time with him. I agree Jen, I always felt complete love and acceptance from Gramps. He made very difficult choices that few in today’s world would understand but he stood faithful and true to the end. I miss him too. Thank you too for all the help you and your boys were to me during this time. I am so grateful I had a place I could come to be loved.

  4. Thank you so much for posting this Bub – just the picture would have made me tear up a little, but your post was beautiful and I admit that I am more than teary-eyed. Anyway, I love Gramps and miss him and I’m happy you posted this. Was I the sister that was in the room with you?

  5. I’m so glad you have such wonderful memories of his last days. It made me happy to read about it. You will get to cherish them forever. I hope we can leave such an imprint on our grandchildren.

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