My granddad passed away tonight, Oct. 3. His health had gotten progressively worse since I visited there two weeks ago. He entered hospice care Thursday, my parents arrived this morning, and he passed away with my dad by his side.
I didn't really blog about my trip there two weeks ago - but now I should share that it was truly wonderful. My parents and I arrived at the nursing home, and when we went into his room, he wasn't there. Then we heard this shout from across the hall: "Hey, baby!" where he was in physical therapy. It was a lovely day, sunny and temperatures in the mid-60s, so we wheeled him outside, where my dad gave him a shave and combed his hair.
He was really snappy - I don't know how else to describe it. We were talking about football, and my dad made a crack about Penn State (my alma mater). I responded saying something about how they were in the top 10, and my granddad slyly said, "Yeah, but counting from which end?" Then there was his statement upon seeing a certain nurse leave for the day: "If you ever want to get castrated, well ..." My mom responded with "Well, Dad, I hate to tell you but I don't have the equipment for that!" He laughed and laughed. It really was a wonderful afternoon and I'm so thankful we had such a lovely day together.
This picture is from November 2008. I was in Pittsburgh for Thanksgiving and my family and I had breakfast with Granddad at his favorite - his only - breakfast place. This is how I will remember my granddad - in his watchcap outside of Tom's on the South Side. I'll be going to sleep tonight thinking about all the Saturdays he came out to our house in Eighty Four, Pa., to help my dad build a deck, and how he always took time to show me basketball moves. I am exhausted and can't think of much else to say except that I'll miss you very much, Granddad.