My grandfather, the man who was more like a father, passed away last Saturday at the age of 80. He had a stroke on June 9th and fought and rallied back more than once. He improved significantly but started to fail fast on July 19th.
I got a call on July 21st from my Dad, saying Poppa only had hours left. 81 hours later, he drew his last breath.
I visited him often and stayed for hours. At times when I wasn’t there, he would ask others for me.
Our relationship was more than grandfather/granddaughter. He raised me from birth along with my grandmother and father. At age 12, my dad moved out of the house and it was just Mom, Poppa and I. He spoiled me rotten. At age 18, Mom died suddenly of a brain aneurysm and it was just Poppa and I. 3 years later I moved out and started my own life. We saw eachother often and spoke daily.
On June 5th, I took him to Brockville Celtic Fest, our last of many outtings.
The family had been planning a huge 80th birthday bash on July 19th and he knew it. Instead, we had a small gathering of his family at the hospital. I gave him an Angel Teddy Bear with wings. When I handed it to him I told him that the bear that he gave me when I was 3 months old always made me feel better when I was sick. He held on to that bear every night, clenching it in his fist.
On his last good day, I said everything I needed to say to him. He told me he loved me beyond words and we both shed a tear or two. He was very sick towards the end and his last day, I left a few hours before he passed. I wasn’t able to be there because it was too painful.
He left behind 3 children, 6 grandchildren and 2 great grand daughters that were the apple of his eye.
We buried him on Wednesday next to his beloved wife to his favorite song, Highland Cathedral, being played by a lone Piper. There was not a dry eye around.
My Dad brought over Poppa’s lounge chair last night for me to have. It smells like him. He handed me a little box…Mom’s wedding ring. It’s 59 years old, and fits like a glove.