My grandpa died today. I got a call from my dad around 11:00 tonight to tell me. Seeing his number on the caller ID alerted me early that something wasn’t right. By 11:00, he’s already been asleep for almost 4 hours. He told me that he was in California, that my uncle was in Italy and that my grandpa had been taken to the hospital tonight where he died. He explained that he’d be back tomorrow afternoon and that he didn’t know when my uncle would be able to come back. And that my grandma didn’t know yet and she was sleeping. He said he’d figure out how to tell her, when he needed to tell her. I imagine she’ll notice he’s not there when she wakes up. Hopefully my siblings back home will be there to tell her before someone else does.
His birthday is tomorrow. I realized this while I was on my way to Katie’s, to check on her and to be around family. My grandpa’s 91st birthday is tomorrow.
My grandpa was a man who served his country. He trained pilots to fight in WWII. He served his community as mayor of his city. He served people, as a respected mechanic. He’s a man I’ve been proud to know my entire life. The past few years have not been kind to him as we’ve watched him slip further into dementia. I remember him spending large portions of each day walking and being active while I was growing up. Seeing him over the last few years has been painful. The light in his eyes vanished, and though he physically died just a few hours ago, he’s been gone already for a long time.
Everything right now is jumbled. Writing about what’s going on is the only way I really understand how to begin to process things. I’m not really sure what happens next. I imagine there will be a funeral, but whether it’s in Orlando or Boonton, I’m not sure. And as I sat in my bathroom, unable to stand because I was crying so hard I heard God say, “see? I knew what I was doing when you only got scheduled for four hours next week.” Why he picked that moment to tell me, I’m not sure. I guess maybe so I would know that in the midst of what feels like stability and familiarity crashing, he’s in control. Selah.