On just "being" with my Granddaddy

Alabama -  where I am now - is often filled with laughter and fun. Even now, it's comforting that family finds room for smiles and laughs. But it's not really a laughing time. My Granddaddy, about whom I've written many times, is showing signs that maybe 92 years has been just about enough. The photo here was taken at my parents' home in May. While he was already giving us hints that things were changing faster than any of us wanted to think about, the relaxed smile on his face that day isn't the norm today.

Granddaddy now sleeps in a hospital bed in the house he's loved so much. A house you could once barely find, through all the kudzu that buried it, climbing in the broken-out windows, until he bought it for a steal and, with my Bigmama, worked tirelessly to turn into a truly impressive success story. It's the house he told us this summer he wants to die in. Oh those words. But people have to be able to say what they want - it's a respected understanding within my family - and so he did.

He woke up from one of his string of naps a couple of days ago and grinned to see me. He grabbed my hand and pulled it to his lips and said, "You're my baby." And I grinned back and said, "You're MY baby!" To which he huffed and said, "Aw, foot!" And we held hands and talked a while until he fell back asleep, still holding on to me. Last night wasn't so smooth, as he was convinced he needed to "go to the house," though he couldn't tell us where he thought he actually was.

And now that I've gotten to this part, I don't really know how to end this post. Beyond acknowledging that it's hard. It's love. It's life. I guess that's enough for now. 


on 2011-12-12 15:56 by Melody

This would have been more timely a while back, but sometimes a blog post is the last thing on a woman's mind. I will write about my Granddaddy again one day here. For now, I want to thank everyone for your sweet emails and calls and prayers and thoughts and wishes.

My Granddaddy didn't wake up from his last nap on December 2, 2011. It's hard to believe that it's been a whole week since his funeral. Now more than a whole week of my life has now been spent without this precious, darling man.

I'm picturing him now, grinning at the little girl I was then, teasing me by using the word "ain't" which I'd been taught not to use and so was informing him of my discovery. And at the end of the scene, it didn't matter whether our vocabularies were comprised of the same words or not. Everything always ended in my personally-fabricated "Granddaddy kisses." Tiny little girl kisses placed one at a time, around the circumference of the first love of my life's face. One big circle of kisses placed lovingly on the face of this grinning man.

I am so, so glad that I got to give my Granddaddy so many more kisses during the last three weeks of his life. It's something I'll miss for the rest of my own...