Life is just so fragile.
10 years ago on December 23, I was a newly wed. We had a honeymoon baby so not only was I a newlywed but I was also pregnant and sicker than sick. I got a call at about 8 in the morning telling me that my grandpa was in the hospital and really really sick. It was my mom on the phone and she told me that they were asking everyone to just stay home please. I asked if she was sure I shouldn't go up there. I was told no, they didn't want everyone up there.
I had seen my Grandpa just the night before. Ben and I had went up and taken him to dinner. We were SUPER poor but I had to get something for my Grandpa for Christmas. I felt it so strongly that I NEEDED to. I asked him over and over again and all he would ever say is he wanted my Grandma back. My Grandma had died about 3 1/2 months previous. He told me over and over again he didn't want to have Christmas without her.
On December 22, 2001, Ben and I drove up to Ogden and took my Grandpa out to dinner for his Christmas gift. We went to our favorite Mexican dive and just talked for hours with Grandpa. He talked about so many people. Shared stories about the war (something I wasn't aware he had never really done before). He shared his life with me.
Now remember we were super poor. Well I knew that every Christmas my grandparents gave us money for Christmas. So that year, I opened my present early. I am kinda sad that I have to admit that it was my Christmas money that HE had given me that paid for dinner that night. I guess Christmas came early for us all that night! I do not regret opening up that money and using it to go to dinner.
My grandpa was a war veteran. He served in WWII. After having missed Christmas with my grandma due to the war, he promised her he would never go a Christmas again without seeing her.
He kept his promise.
On December 24, 2001, my grandpa died. He was our santa. He did santa MANY MANY times. He had the perfect Santa bells. And he died on Christmas Eve. He spent Christmas eve part of the day here with his family but he made sure that by Christmas day he was with my grandma in heaven.
Darin's death at Christmas time was a hard hit. It brought back 10 years ago when my grandpa died.
I got a call today. Well rather I made a call today. I called my mother in law to ask if I could borrow her popcorn maker. In turn I found out that she was up in Idaho with my Father in Laws parents...my husband's grandpa was in the hospital. Mini strokes, heart problems...the works.
Emotions engulfed me. My grandpa's death flooded back to me. Why didn't I drive up to that hospital and give him one last hug while he was alive. Yes my last memory of him is a great one of sitting at a table enjoying a life time of stories but I still wish for that one last hug!
Ben's grandpa as far as we know should be ok but I can't help but fight that urge to just jump in the car and drive up there. I have been saying for about 2 months now that we HAVE to get up to Idaho and see the grandparents. Darn work! Either Ben is working or I am and it makes it really hard to get up there. When we both do have the full day off work we are so exhausted and have our lives so full of other things we can't make it.
Well we are going to make it happen. We have to. I can't have the regret of "why didn't we" hang over me with Ben's grandpa like it does with mine. Grandpa Hawker has become my grandpa too over the last 10 years. I love him dearly. I have spent the last 10 years wishing I would have driven the hour up to Ogden and said good-bye to my grandpa.
We get such a short time with them here on earth. We need to make it last! Life is fragile, something that I am being reminded of constantly right now.