Saying “I love you” is a special phrase we reserve for the people we care most about. But we don’t usually use those words often enough before it’s too late.
February 7th, my grandparents sat at their dinner table and ate their normal Sunday Night dinner together. On the 9th, I visited their home and went to the side of my grandfather’s hospice bed, took his shaking hand and all I could say was “hello Grandpa” and he looked at me with so much longing in his eyes. I don’t know what he was longing for, death, love, something, but I know he wanted relief. I couldn’t keep eye contact for long, I looked at him with nothing to say except the idea that I was present. I walked away.
I played piano for my grandmother and stayed awhile to talk to my cousins, but when it came time to go, he was asleep so I gave him a kiss on the head an said “Goodbye Grandpa.”
No “I love you”.
Years and years of hearing him say to me “Goodbye Maddie, we sure do love you.” Every time without a doubt when I gave him a hug to go he would tell me that.
He died less than an hour after midnight. It was his time to go, he was ready and we as a family were too, but it didn’t make it any easier.
I went by my Grandmother’s house again that Saturday to keep her company, so I played the piano, which she loves, and she came in the room to listen to me play. At one point she started to cry and tell me how much she was going to miss grandpa.
I have never hugged someone in so much pain and genuinely felt the burden they carried.
I love my Grandmother dearly, and I’m hoping that through loving her as much as I can, I can make up for not getting the chance to tell my Grandfather that I love him. He always did say “We sure do love you”.
I had come that afternoon with a bag of chocolate from See’s Candies and my grandma told me that Grandpa always bought her a box of See’s Candies for Valentine’s Day so when I went home to my dad that evening I told him that Grandma needed a box of chocolates for Valentine’s Day.
So we drove back to Mesa to pick some chocolates for Grandma in a heart shaped box and we went back to her house to give them to her.
A few days later at the funeral, someone told the story of how my dad brought chocolates to Grandma just to remind her that her husband loved her.
I love you Grandpa.