Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Grandpa's Funeral

I am getting to the age, where weddings and funerals are becoming my reality.  That's when I see people, reconnect, and feel joy and sadness.  Over the weekend with my Grandpa's viewing and funeral, I saw so many great people who loved my grandparents and my extended family.

Sometimes, I think that the Huber family is all myth and legend.  But, no matter what, I am so proud to be the granddaughter of Ed and Jerry Huber.  Nothing is more important to me than keeping the memory and respect for all my grandparents alive.

Yesterday at the funeral, my brother played the piano.  It was a beautiful compilation of hymns he had put together himself.  It gave me goosebumps here on earth, as I'm sure it did to all those in heaven who were watching.

I loved my grandparents fiercely when they were alive.  I will continue to love them just as faithfully now that they are somewhere else, a little further away.






Wednesday, February 21, 2018

To my Grandpa - the final goodbye


Every week, without fail, even if I was out of town, since January 2017, I've written my grandpa a letter.  He never wrote back, but he didn't have to.  Sometimes, the letters were short, sometimes I poured my heart out.  Every once in a while the boys would also write letters.  Most weeks, Quinn drew a picture - usually of dinosaurs or big foot, because that's what he said Grandpa would like.

I knew that my Grandpa wasn't doing well.  He hadn't been doing well for months and months.  Last summer was a bad one culminating in a pace maker and another extended stay at the Legacy rehabilitation center.  After that, accommodations were made at home so that Grandpa could be as comfortable as possible in his home of over 60 years.  A CNA who took a liking to my Grandpa, Margaret, took care of him every day since August, even spending the night with him the last night he was alive.

The last week or so wasn't good.  My grandpa fought so hard for so many years to stay alive, I think that we were all so surprised that last Wednesday he just didn't wake up from his nap.  If there were ever a way to go, peacefully in your sleep with your remote control and cup of crushed ice is a pretty good way to move from one life to the next.  Margaret told my mom and Cindy and Jackie later that she'd gone in to check on him and Grandpa looked at her and said , "I've got to go!"  Margaret assumed that mean to the bathroom and when she told him to give her a minute to get the walker, he turned to her and said, "NO!  I don't need to go to the bathroom, I've got to go!"  And with that, he left us.

Driving home from school last Wednesday, the boys and I were talking about my Grandpa.  We talked about how he'd had a bad night, and that when we got home we were all going to write him a letter.  Quinn asked me, "Mom, when is Grandpa going to die?"  I wasn't sure how to respond, but with total faith, I said, "Well, I don't know.  It could be in 5 years or 5 months, or it could be tomorrow.  But, I'm pretty sure it isn't going to be today."

Straight through the door when we arrived home, Quinn headed to the table to draw an amazing picture.   The big boys headed upstairs to do the same.  Of all the dumb things int he world, I was having a bad hair day and went upstairs to wash my hair.

As soon as I came back downstairs, with paper in hand, the phone rang.  It was about 4:30 pm.  It was my mom.  I knew immediately what she was calling to tell me.  I think I answered with, "What's wrong?" and she told me that around 3:45, the same time the boys and I were talking about him on our way home from school, he took his last breaths.

I summoned the boys to me in the living room and immediately told them what had happened.  Quinn went back to his drawing, wondering how in the world he was going to get his drawing of big foot to great grandpa.  Wyatt asked if he could go back upstairs to work on his homework.  Elliott and I were left alone, sobbing.  I did my best to comfort him.  I probably failed.  But he and I sat together for a long time sharing thoughts and memories.  Surprisingly enough, while we were in the front room, a Michael Jackson song came on Pandora.

But you are not alone
I am here with you
Though we're far apart
You're always in my heart
You are not alone

It made us laugh a little, but was also pretty poignant.

We are not alone.  My grandpa is with us.  He always will be.


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