Grandpa Ed passed away yesterday afternoon, with his wife and his granddaughter Karen by his side. He’d been in a (very lovely) Hospice facility for about a week. The last time we visited him he only opened his eyes a few times, and he didn’t speak, but I know he knew we were there. We visited, and wrote him a letter telling him how much he means to us. And we cried.
Grandpa Ed was blessed with a kindness of spirit that is extremely rare. Every time we talked to him, he told us how precious, how beautiful, how special we were to him. He welcomed strangers with the same abundance of love that he showed his family members. Any one of our dear friends who have attended our family functions can attest to his immediate and wholehearted welcoming. He took the time, every time Bill and I saw him, to hug and kiss us both, tell us how blessed we were to have one another, and how happy our love for one another made him.
We will smile over those memories, in the days to come.
This evening we’re bringing food to Grandmother’s house and meeting the rest of the family there, to grieve and to remember. This will be the first time the whole family will be gathered together in one spot in several years. It will be the first time some of us have spoken to one another in as long. Now is the time to put aside our differences – if not permanently, then at least just for a while. Grandmother needs us.
The next time you look up at the night sky, give a wave to Grandpa Ed. He’s bound to be entertaining the entirety of Heaven, singing selections from his vast repertoire of songs. He has gone home to his Lord, and surely he is celebrating.
We love you, Grandpa Ed.