I flew home to San Diego this past holiday season to visit friends and family for Christmas. I was definitely looking forward to sunny days at the beach, grabbing a bite to eat at In & Out, and of course spending time with my parents and sister. When I arrived, however, I was surprised to find out that my mom's dad had been hospitalized and wasn't doing well. At first, the doctor gave my grandfather two months, but his condition worsened within the week.
We drove back and forth between LA and San Diego everyday (a two hour drive each way). Some days we were able to assist the physical therapist generating movement in his legs and arms - as he was now bed-ridden. Other days we were only able to hold his hands as he gave us a squeeze every few minutes. But seeing him lying in that hospital bed as a frail man of 84 years, was extremely hard.
I was very thankful, however, that I was able to spend some time with him - even if he didn't know who I was. We found out Thursday night, just after we had gotten home, that he had gone to be with the Lord; he was no longer in any pain.
My favorite memory of my grandfather had to be our visits during the summer. My family and I would pile in the car and drive up the coast early in the morning. My gradfather always waited on his front porch with a smile and hug for each of us.
He would always give me a jar from the kitchen - as my sister and I would hunt and capture ladybugs in his graden. It seemed to only grab our attention for about 20 minutes or so, but my grandfather would always wave to us from the kitchen window and ask how many we caught this time. Every time he said it was a record (he knew we had forgotten how many we caught during the last visit).
His house is now being sold, and I'm sure the memory of catching ladybugs awaits someone new. His hugs and smiles will be great missed, but only until we meet again.
Do you have a favorite memory of a loved one you would like to share? Comment below!