Last November, I received a call that my grandfather was ill and had been admitted to the hospital. He’s always been one of the most important people in my life, so without hesitation, I booked a one-way ticket for my son & I, and headed to Wisconsin. I wasn’t sure how long I’d be able to get away from work and a very busy life, but once I was there, none of that felt like it mattered much. I pressed a hard pause, and focused on my family for 15 uninterrupted days, and it was one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever given myself.
Over the course of four long visits in less than a year, we said goodbye to both of our grandparents. After almost seven decades together, they only had to live a few months apart, and I am very thankful for that.
Having my little guy with me during much of this was a beautiful reminder of life and joy during a very sad time. He gave me a reason to take breaks from the bedside to go to the playground, take a walk, or simply remember to eat. He was my little anchor, along with my brothers, whom I found a whole new love for this past year. G&G were always so good about bringing us together, and continued to do so, even after their deaths. We celebrated their lives by doing some of their favorite things (bowling, watching Wheel & enjoying the natural beauty of Wisconsin), and we all found much peace in that.
I’ve had many files from this time sitting here, and haven’t found the strength to look through them. But here we are, already on the one year anniversary of my grandfather’s passing, and it feels like the right time. I miss them both, every day. They were my biggest cheerleaders, and a huge part of who I am, and I will always be grateful for that.
From November to July, here is his journey, here is her journey, here is our journey.