Hjemlengsel

Okay, day, okay.

I have a need to write – to continue this story until it reaches its conclusion.  I also have a need to chronicle, to record the memories of today so that they don’t dissipate out of my mind when I crave to return to the story as it was.  As I know it now.

My grandfather ate ice cream for breakfast, something I can only imagine he’s never done for so long as I have been his grandchild as for these 30-some years I’ve only known him as a diabetic. It’s a matter of him getting things as near as we can to what he wants.  He has been alert all day and recognizing all of this visitors.

My father texted and asked if we wanted to talk to him.  Of course, dear readers, I will admit to a sliver of trepidation.  What do you say?  What do you say in your last conversation with someone?  You say, apparently, “I just wanted to be sure you know that I love you so tremendously much.”  To which, your grandfather replies, because he is your grandfather.  “I love you, too.  Well, all things must come to an end.  And I hope it comes sooner rather than later.”

We’ve always been the far-distant children.  We don’t, as my cousin who spent so many more hours under my grandparents’ watchful eyes at the farm, call him Gramps.  We weren’t first, we don’t have children and rooted lives to connect to him as they do, they weren’t needed as surrogate parents as they sometimes were for others.

But that never mattered.  My visits up there always made me feel their love.  My grandfather’s stoicism never for a minute hid his grand attributes of humor and endurance and a big open heart.  That hand patting my shoulder.

We being all the way out here, it seemed like somehow, we weren’t meant to be a part of the goodbye.  But we needed to be.  I needed to be.  The last time we spoke he seemed tired, out of sorts, all that moving around nursing homes and assisted living.  All these changes.

It wasn’t a long conversation, but it was important.  I didn’t get that with my grandma, not really, even though I feel her with me and I know I can reach out and connect to her spirit in my dreams, I wish I had.  This feels so strange to me.  It hasn’t registered.  It doesn’t feel like a loss so much as a move even just a bit further away.

From a long distance, from what I can gather from my father, my grandpa’s not comfortable, he’s ready regardless of what his body has to say on the matter.  There’s no way to know how big the hourglass is.  I know that he wants this to be as inconvenient as possible and like so much of this, you just have to give it the grace to be what it is.

My dad comes home tomorrow, regardless.

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