Last night, November 10, 2008, my grandfather passed away. After a long battle with emphysema and a short battle with pancreatic cancer he is with God.
This past Thursday I got a call from Meredith to get home as soon as I could. I'm so happy my sister called. I flew up to OKC Thursday night and I got to spend all day Friday with him talking and laughing as we always had. No, he has not been the same Grandpa for a long time but for that glimpse of time he was there in the present. He talked to my belly and I teared up. I'm so sorry he is going to miss the baby's welcome into the world but so happy he knows I'm pregnant. He told my Granny he only wished he could see that baby. She told him he will. Matter of fact he would be the first to see the baby and tell it stories about what a wonderful it will live. He winked and smiled at her. If only he knew what was up his granddaughters' sleeves. Meredith mentioned we should contact a place to do an ultrasound and find out the gender.
Saturday morning came without much change in Grandpa. He was still in and out of it. At noon we walked in to get the ultrasound. We will be welcoming Astoria Annette Kleckner into this world in April. The ultrasound was surreal. I now wish I had a machine to keep an eye on her in there. The first call I made was to Granny to pass on the news. Now Grandpa will know who to keep an eye on up there. I hope the nickname Toad will be to her liking. It's going to be hard to explain to her how such a great man gave her the name Toad. But then again I was given Turkey for the past 29 years.
Sunday was a hard day. He had a bad episode in the morning and was not conscious the rest of the day or when I left that evening. It was so hard to leave yet I knew I couldn't do much for anyone there. I almost felt as if I was a burden to those around. All I could manage to do was cry. Rex and I made the trip home without much noise. I'm not much of a talker when it comes to things like this.
Granny called that night once we were home to let me know she would match the money Grandpa had given the great-grandchildren a couple of months ago. The money will go to Astoria's crib. It will grow with her forever and she will know it was a gift from her Grandpa.
Monday, today, was uneventful in OKC. The stats were unchanged. Then tonight at 11pm I got the call from Mom. He was gone. I know he is in a better place with no pain but boy do I miss him already. It's hard to think I'll never hear his whistle again or listen to him tell the story of Meredith and I dancing in the airport. Don't worry though Grandpa, Astoria will always know to pick up the phone and call, she'll never have to explain why I should come and get her from somewhere. You granted me that security and I will pass it on to her. I love you.