Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Journal Entry I Guess - Christmas and my Grandpa's

So I have neglected my family blog for a month now. So much has happened in this last month, it is unbelievable. So, should I start with the good, the bad or the ugly? Okay, the good it is then!

Christmas Eve and Day was great. My favorite day of the season is Christmas Eve. The excitement is in full force and it is the day we reflect on our Savior. Our family watches the Nativity, we look at Christmas lights, we eat a yummy meal, we open sibling gifts and pj's. Christmas morning was unique in that we got to attend church and that was wonderful!!! We truly enjoyed hearing the beautiful music and listening to the Christmas message.

Christmas Break
This is where it gets bad and ugly. We learned that my grandpa T was battling more cancer and sadly, this time his battle wasn't going to be won. We had planned a trip to see him over New Years but we decided that I couldn't wait and on the first day that the kids were out of school, Kermit and I ran down to visit. Kermit stayed with his cousins, which was so much fun for him, and I stayed out with my grandparents.

I will cherish those days with my grandparents. Sure, Grandpa was sick, but he made the most of those days. I was able to just talk with him, asking him his favorite memory of me, and me sharing mine with him. We took a special day for just Grandpa and I many years ago to go fishing. We found a perfect fishing hole and we made it our secret spot! We fished for hours, talking about everything. I don't remember how many fish we caught, or what we talked about, it was just the special time we spent together. Then we stopped at Dairy Queen on the way home for a blizzard! We both shared the same favorite memory! I gave him special requests, to tell my sweet Angel Baby that I love her. I got to hug on him, kiss him, tease him, pamper him and just be with him.

At this time we suddenly found out that my grandpa D was not going to be with us much longer, so before I went home, I was able to stop and see him. He was sleeping and not able to be aroused, but I was able to tell him that I loved him and that I was thankful for him and that he was the most fun in the water, playing submarine with my cousins and I.

December 23rd, my Grandpa D returned home to our Heavenly Father. He was surrounded by several of his kids, a few grand kids and lots of love. He was 84 years old.

So 2 days after Christmas we made the return trip and buried my Grandpa D. He served in the Navy and was given a 3 gun salute and taps were played at the grave. It was beautiful. He had battled Alzheimer's and while I'm sad that he's gone, I truly lost him years ago and I am so thankful to know he is out of his state of confusion and he knows who I am once again. We took the time after the funeral to visit my Grandpa T again. The kids were so happy to see him. They are very close to their Grandpa-Great! We visited on Wednesday and Thursday. Thursday, my kids climbed up on his lap and played with him. What a sweet memory we have of them playing and having fun together.
Friday we continued on with our trip to Master Chief's parents house. The kids were excited to be there, helping collect eggs, feed the cows and play games!

Saturday morning, December 31st, my Grandpa T made his journey home to our Heavenly Father, he was 75 years old. This was bittersweet. I'm so glad he's not suffering and hurting, but I miss one of my best friends. He was a hero in my life and loved me so unconditionally. My heart is broken.
I was asked to give his life sketch with my cousin at his funeral. I am so glad I had my cousin with me. I'm not quite sure how we got through it, or how we buried him. It was next to one of the hardest things I've ever done. The funeral and visitation with family (closed casket viewing) was packed. Because of his service in the military he was given the honor of the 3 gun salute as well as having taps played. In addition to this, because of his service in law enforcement, he had guards standing at the head and the foot of his casket during the visitation and then these guards escorted him to his final resting place. It was very touching, grandpa would have been proud. I'm so thankful for my knowledge of our Heavenly Father's plan of Salvation. I know I will see my grandpas again. I miss them with all my heart, but I know they are with my sweet Angel Baby, telling her I love her.