Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Good Bye Papa

Today my grandfather died. He has not been well for quite a while and has suffered from Alzheimer’s for many years. He was almost 85 years old and came from a large French-Canadian family (16 living children). As I type this, I am sitting in the same chair he always sat in at every family dinner. He wasn't a perfect man but he was a very good grandfather to me – the only surviving grandchild. We have always lived very close to my grandparents and I would see him often. Whenever he came over I would race to sit on his lap – barely giving him enough time to sit down in most cases. On his lap I would remain for pretty much the duration of his visit.

I was able to be with him this morning for a couple hours before he died – and I’m glad I was. The ravages of time and sickness had taken its toll leaving a man almost unrecognizable to the one I grew up with. Other family members were there and sang, told stories, laughed and cried. I hope in some way the sound of our voices provided some comfort and peace.

One of my fondest memories is sitting in the cab of his truck that had a cassette player – this was a very exciting upgrade to the eight track player (wow – am I dating myself!). We put in a Dolly Parton tape and listened to the song “Apple Jack”. The volume was cranked right up (my grandfather was quite hard of hearing). Together we sang along at the top of our lungs and clapped and stomped our feet. I think we played it about five times in a row.

I’ll always regret that he never got to meet and know Bennett. But I guess that’s how life goes sometimes. Mostly, I’m just relieved that he is no longer suffering.

Good-bye Papa.


Amy said...

So sorry about your grandfather. I lost my grandfather this summer under similar circumstances. I wasn't there when he passed, but it was so good to know that when he died he was surrounded by those who loved him.

Mummu and Poppa said...

Dear Barbara and Family

We are so glad that you were able to spend some time with the family before he passed.

It means so much to have 'good times' to remember. Once again, music (Dolly has a song to 'hit home' about every situation) and stories draw us together.

Your Papa is now restimg in peace and your Papa 'of days before his illness' would be wishing all of you comfort and peace at this time.

Condolences to Gatez and Suzie and families.

If there is anything that we can do just let us know.

Love and Prayers
Mummu and Poppa
xxx ooo xxx ooo xxx ooo

Dawn said...

Very sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing about him.

Kara said...

Barbara, so sorry about your Papa. Those good times will keep him alive in your heart forever.

Becky said...

Barb, I'm so sorry to hear about Papa Gladu. Please give everyone my condolences. Love to you all.

Bonnie said...

My sympathy to you, your mom and Aunt, and your family Barbara. Our time on this earth seems relatively short - and our capacity to influence the lives of the people we love is so great - i.e., playing "Apple Jack" as loud as possible in the car! Our life is meant for joy, living and loving and being loved by those around us. Celebrate today - who knows what tomorrow may bring. When we die, we can only hope we are surrounded by those who love us and remember the times we sang and laughed together. Those are the experiences that change our lives - and the ones that helps us to change our world. Be assured of my love and support as you celebrate the life of your Papa. Love, Auntie Bonnie

Erin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Erin said...

Sorry to hear. :( May he rest in peace and fly high with the angels. Keeping you and your family in my thoughts.

By the way, you may want to change my address on your blog list. It's now :)

Kiera Beth said...


I am thinking of you and your family in this difficult time. I was also able to be with my Grandma the morning before she passed and to this day, I am so grateful for every one of those moments. I hope that it brings you the same peace.

Take care


Anonymous said...

Sincere sympathy for your loss.


Anonymous said...

If you can not be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.............................................

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry. Even if they lived a long life ... it is still hard to say goodbye.