What it Means to Say Goodbye

Last night, Val and I went to the hospital to visit my grandmother.  She’s almost 98 years old.  My grandfather had passed away three years ago and she is my last surviving grandparent.

As we drove home, I reflected on the past as we all do when we face transitions in life.

Time is so important.  None of us know what we have left. It can be a year, ninety-nine years, or a hundred. We must grasp it and make the most of our moments

My grandmother grew up around the Great Depression.  Her father was a butcher and supplied meat to their neighbors. She told me stories about card games at the house where her and her siblings would crawl on the floor and pick up the money that was dropped by the intoxicated guys above.

She drove cars around her family’s property.  She worked numerous jobs, raised two girls while my grandfather was in Italy during WW2, and raised a son after the war who would eventually become my father.

We had family dinners, oh the family dinners! Multiple sides and main dishes, deserts that she would get up and make early in the mornings.

My time at their house always meant one thing in life, a sense of peace, of love and acceptance.

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Photo Credit: Chris Blakeley via Compfight cc

At our wedding, the pastor specifically mentioned my grandparents as our aspired goal.  They were our inspiration. A marriage lasting almost seventy years and becoming cornerstones of a family.

As of this morning, she is still with us. I’m going through the day still finding memories from the past. From sleeping over in the summer, to fresh coffee cake for breakfast and fresh iced tea for lunch. She taught me how to crack an egg for baking, something I’ll pass on to Carter one day.

She’s been a blessing in my life and has made me a better person.

We drove home from the hospital and I wondered if it would be the last time I said goodbye to her.  I kissed her on the forehead and thought about all the years she had done the same to me.

We all called her Princess, a name that I came up with when I was little.  So this morning, Princess, even if you don’t get a chance to see this post, I want you to know how much you mean to me, to Val, and our family. You are a treasure.

Thank you.

~Matt

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