A little over fourteen years ago my grandma passed away. She left behind my Grandpa Lyle who I had never seen sad before she died. I have never been able to understand or accept her death, until today. I received a call this morning from my aunt, she had the darkest voice I had ever heard before and she did not need to say anything I knew what had happened. My grandpa passed away in his sleep last night. It’s tough to believe, cause I just saw him two days ago. I would like to believe that every family has a member like my grandpa. If they don’t I have to imagine it is a pretty empty family. I realize how self important that sounds but I mean it. Grandpa Lyle was the top tier of our whole life. He was the epitome of kindness and wisdom and love. I have spent the day so far on the phone with family, mostly just crying into the phone and listening to them cry back. I can’t explain it but this feels like the first time anyone has died ever. My grandpa spent the last few years of his life moving around a bit slower, but he never stopped moving. When I was working in a usually empty coffee shop I spent my afternoons in complete boredom and loneliness. Grandpa would make the 45 mile drive to see me every day that he felt well enough. He’d sit and drink a cup of coffee and maybe eat a bowl of soup and talk to me and keep me company. And every time a customer walked in the door he’d say hello and make conversation with them. Everyone who has ever known him has thought the world of him and for good reason.
I was talking to my sister and she said something that made it all snap in my head, “He gets to see Grandma today.”
I know he does. She has been making afghans for their couch up there this whole time. I bet she knew he was coming. And she set the table with one of her cross stitched tablecloths and cooked him some goulash and green Jell-O mold salad. I bet they didn’t even cry when they saw each other. Grandpa kissed her on the cheek and they sat down and ate. After supper they watched Wheel of Fortune and I bet they didn’t have commercials and I bet they have the good version of that show up there with the prize showcase and I bet they are terrific prizes. After that they played Uno and ate popcorn and drank Diet Rite.
Man I miss him. Already. But I am glad Grandma gets to have him back.