I have been postponing this blog for a while now. I guess, its my own way of dealing with the pain of losing a loved one. On December 20th, 2013 my phone rang and I knew immediately it wasn’t good news. As I heard my family explain to me what had happened to my grandfather I was in shock. He had a massive heart attack followed by a stroke. When the ambulance arrived they stopped the heart attack he immediately went into surgery where they discovered he had 3 arteries clogged 100% and nothing could really be done. They placed a stint in and he came out of surgery, my Gran went up to see him with my Uncle (they’re caregiver) and they had told us Grandpa would be home by the 26th of December. On December 21st my Grandfather fell into a comma, one he would never wake up from. As the days went by I came to terms with the reality of it all. My mom constantly called me, texted me and made sure I knew all the updates as they came in. I started to prepare myself to head down to Palm Beach and say my goodbyes but my mother asked me to please stay put until further notice. On January 5, 2014 I had a dream with my Grandfather, the dream was so vivid I thought he was in the room with me. I woke up (more like I jumped up) I gasped for breath and looked at the clock it was 8am. At 9am my phone rings it was my mother- her silence gave it away, my Grandpa was gone. I told my mom about the dream and then she gasped for air and said “Lori, he died at 8:10am, he came in to say goodbye to you in a dream” I lost all control. I cried like I had never cried before because even though he was my Grandfather it was the relationship we had that was special to me. I was the first grandchild, the first girl and he spoiled me. As a child he would take me out and buy me things and say “Don’t tell your momma that I got you that” it was like our little secret He could always make me laugh when I was down. He taught me a lot about life. I never tire of listening to his stories about his childhood in Massachusetts, or about how his great grandparents made it to the USA from Ireland. I never tire of the story of how he met my Grandma and how she was his entire world and that without her he’d be nothing. My Grandpa was a man of character. He had flaws, like we all do. He served his country in the United States Air Force where he was a firefighter. He served in the Korean war and was proud to be a Veteran. He was proud to be an American! The man wore red/white/blue constantly.
He was buried with full military honors. My Grandma was presented the flag and saluted. What an honor it was to see that! To see a man who so selflessly gave so much to his country be honored in his death. He would have been proud! Because he was so patriotic we made sure all flowers at his service were red/white/blue and we took donations to put towards the Wounded Warrior Project where he had donated so much. To have known my Grandfather was to have known a happy man. He could make you smile just by listening to his laugh, by him looking at you through those deep blue eyes and making funny faces. He was joy, laughter, sometimes a pain in the butt but he was Grandpa and he was full of love. I will forever miss him. As I type this I am still crying, but not from sorrow but happiness knowing he will forever live in my heart, in my memory and I know what he taught me as a child and the memories we created forever live and never die. I am glorifying his life not his death.