Sunday, March 6, 2011

A Day I'll Never Forget

One of my favorite pictures of me and my grandpa :)

Today was special for two different reasons. First, my little sister was baptized this afternoon. I'm so incredibly proud of her. She is growing up to be such a beautiful young woman with a heart of gold. I know I'm biased, but I have the best sister in the world.
Today was also special because it was my grandpa's 90th birthday. As many of you know, my grandpa has had cancer for 2 - 2 1/2 years now. A couple weeks ago, the decision was made to stop treatments. I've never been really close to my grandpa but he has always been there for me. He never missed a swim meet, dance recital, choir concert, or any other event I was involved in. He and my grandma were always there for me. Not only that but he makes THE BEST cookies in the world. About 2 weeks ago, I was able to interview my grandpa for one of my history classes. I had to ask him questions about World War II and his involvement. I learned some pretty cool stuff. He didn't get to serve in the army because he had hearing problems so he stayed home and worked on the family farm. He also worked as a volunteer firefighter and would help put out wild fires. His one brother (he is the youngest of 7 boys) fought in the war, was in France, and was apart of the forces that stormed the beaches in Normandy on D-Day. I think the opportunity to talk to him about this time in American history (also one of my favorite eras) was totally God's work. I saw my grandpa in a completely different light. He was so eager to tell me everything and even had my dad call me the next day because he forgot to tell me something. I'll cherish that conversation and that day for the rest of my life.
However, today was a bittersweet day. While it was special because he turned 90, I know it's probably his last birthday. And that breaks my heart. In the 22 years I've been alive, I don't ever remember a time when my grandpa cried. But today he did. After the baptism service was done, my sister came up to hug him and he said "thank you for doing this on my birthday" and started to cry. I lost it. While he and I haven't been close in ways that most people would consider close, we're close in other ways. We're close in the way that he has always been such a wonderful grandpa and has shown me throughout the years how much he loves me and is proud of me. I wouldn't trade that for the world. My grandpa has also never been the kind to say "I love you" a lot. You know he does but he just never really says it. Lately, he's been saying it all the time. Which makes me feel good but also breaks my heart because he knows that his time is limited.
I'm just thankful to have been blessed with such a wonderful and loving grandpa and will cherish the time we have left together!

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