Went to visit Granddad last night. My son and his 2 year old cousin spent the whole time giggling in the adjacent sitting room. It’s been so nice to have the space. Granddad seemed to be feeling kind of peaceful. We asked him if the kids were making too much noise, and he told us that the giggles sounded good to him. Laughter has always been music to Granddad.
My mother wasn’t there. Earlier in the day, she slipped on the freshly mopped floor in Granddad’s room and fell and broke her wrist. She is heart-broken that she had to go home. She needed to spend a night in her own bed though.
He is able to swallow now. I’m relieved that he can actually have some food instead of just what they can put through an IV. They will be moving him to the hospice facility sometime soon.
My mother asked us to email stories about Granddad to help comfort him and Nana. I will share what I wrote here:
I will never forget summer time when Mandy and I would go and stay with Nana and Granddad. Granddad would see us in our swimsuits ready to play in the sprinkler and say, “Now you boys don’t get wet.” We’d put our hands on our hips and tell him emphatically that we weren’t boys. He’d just smile with that ornery twinkle in his eye. Of course, you would have to have a sense of humor to not only survive living in a house full of Bullington women, but to invite 2 grand-daughters to take over your basement as their ‘apartment’ as we called it. He had seemingly limitless patience with our coffee table concerts. We would sing into hair brushes or flashlights while standing on the coffee table in the basement.
I remember Granddad’s van. The grandkids liked to sit in the very back because when you hit a bump you would float out of your seat. To this day I still think of those as Granddaddy bumps. We would land and giggle and he would laugh with us. I always felt safe and loved when I was with Nana and Granddad.
I was so happy when Granddad retired and they moved to Yukon. As a teenager, I would often escape there when I wanted to feel at home but didn’t really want to be around my parents. I liked to sit on the porch swing and talk to Granddad while he filled the bird feeders and cleaned the bird bath. I could talk about anything with them.
I owe much of the person I am today to the time I spent growing up around Nana and Granddad.
It’s been so hard to watch his health deteriorate. He’s always been one of the strongest people I know. His sense of humor is still there though. I honored to get to hold his hand and offer him some comfort. And I’m glad I inherited enough humor to make him crack a smile.
He’s always been a sort of pillar in my life. I’m so glad that his suffering is nearly over, but I wish I didn’t have to lose him for that to happen.