We had another unexpected death on January 26. My grandpa, Big John, passed away of a massive heart attack in the early evening hours.
I feel that his death could not have happened any more perfectly for him. He was outside, doing some chores, and he never knew what hit him. He would have been a horrible patient had he lived through the heart attack. And he was at a friend's house, so he was found pretty quickly after it happened.
I spoke with him around 3:00 that afternoon. He called the shop almost every single day, and I so miss seeing his name across our caller id and hearing his voice. He sounded like he was on top of the world that afternoon. He asked me, "Is things clickin'?" Of course, I told him they were. I had been out the day before with a sick child, so I had been busy all day long. He asked me about his great-grandsons, and I told him they were great. I had made a conscious decision not to tell him that one of them had been sick because I did not want him to worry about them; they are always sick because of daycare. However, I was always honest with him about the boys, and I can't tell you why I decided to just leave it alone during this particular conversation. His purpose for calling was to talk to my Uncle John to see if he would crawl under his house to see if he had termites. I hung up the phone laughing because I knew John would just LOVE that! It's just funny and so typical of my grandpa.
The two days following his death were full of phone calls to everyone we could think of notifying about his death. I was completely numb. Steve and I kept telling each other, "I cannot believe we are doing this. It just doesn't feel real."
I loved him so much (and I still do). I am so sad that my kids will have no memory of him. He was just one of a kind. I have memories of him where I know if my kids had experiences like that with any of their grandparents, Brian would freak out.
I am so happy that now Grandma, Russell and Grandpa are back together. They always had a special chemistry and they always needed each other.
Here is a slideshow of pictures that Steve put together for the service. We did not use this song in the service, but I think it is fitting for the last year of his life; I truly feel like he is back home with my grandma and Russell. I would've wanted it in the service had I thought of it while we were planning the music. Instead I heard it on my iPod on the morning of the day of his service. I love you and miss you Grandpa!