Friday, November 15, 2013

Gratitude #3: Bob.

Every Monday for over 4 years, I called Bob on the phone. It used to be right after I put my kids to bed, when the night was winding down and I finally had a minute to myself. We would talk about the weather, or his tomatoes, or the yard sale he had been to the Saturday before. We talked about death, a lot. It wasn't a gloomy thing - we just weren't afraid to go there with each other, and it came up a lot, because Bob missed his late wife Mary very much. In fact, he never got over her.

Bob always called me "sweetie." I loved it. I loved that we were friends. I loved that he got this excitement in his voice when he picked up my phone call. Oh, the guilt I felt when I forgot to call! He would always forgive me, but I always needed a good excuse for why I didn't call. I never liked thinking about him waiting all night for my call, and so I tried to not forget often.

A few months ago, Bob moved close to me. I visited as often as I could (which wasn't enough.) I always wished I could bring him over to my house; one Friday I almost accomplished it (with the lure of lasagna, no less) but it just didn't happen. The 3.5 months he lived close to me were a gift I never expected to have (nor did anyone else who knew and loved Bob.)

Bob was my grandpa by marriage. I think it was part of what sealed my decision to marry Shane; the thought of having grandparents again was just so amazing (I lost my grandparents when I was 9; my grandpa died then, and my grandma was captive in the tangles of Alzheimer's by then, so I sort of lost them both at the same time, even though my grandma lived until I was 15.) While Bob's wife was alive, we would see them at Christmas or when babies were born or if we went south for a vacation. But it was when Grandma Mary died that we started talking on the phone each week. At some point, those conversations stopped being chats between a grandfather-in-law and granddaughter-in-law and became conversations between two friends. I loved talking to him.

When I saw him for the last time on Wednesday, I held his hand and told him I loved him as many times as I could. I tried to memorize the feeling of being loved by a grandfather. He healed something that I didn't know I needed healing while I sat there when he told me he loved me back, because I had so wished when I held my dad's hand 2 years ago when he was dying that he would magically wake up and be able to talk and tell me he loved me just one more time. It was such a comfort to know that Grandpa heard me, and that he could respond.

Bob died yesterday. His little body had outgrown his giant soul and they came to the decision to part ways. I knew it was coming, but I still have so many emotions. I will miss my friend. I will miss him calling me "sweetie." I would have loved him to continue living here for a lot longer, but I know how happy he is to be where he is. He missed his wife so much. I'm sure it was hard to be left behind by so many of his friends and family.

I'm grateful for Bob. I am grateful that I know he is in a better place and that I will see him again one day. I am grateful to have been his granddaughter. 

This is us on Halloween. I don't remember them taking our picture, but I am so grateful to the person who did.


Amy Sorensen said...

Up late. This made me cry. I'm so glad you got to have a grandpa again. I'm glad that Bob is at peace but sad for you and Shane. hugs!

Jeanette said...

So sorry to hear about Bob. I lost my grandma last week so I know what you're going through. (((hugs)))