Belated Goodbye

Posted by admin on July 2nd, 2011 filed in travel

Shortly after the memorial service for my maternal grandfather, we received news that my father’s dad had been admitted to hospice care. He passed away within the week and no one from my immediate family was able to attend his funeral in Texas.

I didn’t know him as well as my mom’s dad, but I have several wonderful memories of his hugs, his smiles, and his warmth. I remember how his kind, soft drawl was so contrasted by his macaw’s raging, irreverent squawks; I remember him playing the mandolin by the fireplace on holidays in duets with my uncle; I remember him greeting us when we visited him at the car dealership. But other than holidays and the occasional random get-togethers, our family didn’t see him often.

But on our bicycle trip around Central and East Texas, Dad and I stopped by his house after a horrible day on the road and had a wonderful time visiting with him as he told and retold us about golfing and retirement and having a babysitter (who was hired because he was showing signs of Alzheimer’s).  We cracked a joke about Dad hiring me as his babysitter to makes sure he plays in the road (via the bike) and enjoyed the afternoon while waiting for my sister to pick us up and take us home.

And that was the last time we saw him – over two years ago.

I wish time didn’t slip away so easily and I wish I had known him better. Thankfully, he was geographically surrounded by our extended family; between his children, their children and their childrens’ children I doubt he was ever at a loss for company.  But, I still wish I could thank him for the wonderful, if sparse, memories I have of him.

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