I blogged 4 weeks ago about losing my husband's grandma. Today I lost my own grandpa. Grandpa Bob died this afternoon after suffering a massive heart attack on Saturday morning. That is 2 deaths exactly 4 weeks apart...on fill days. I have decided that I am no longer getting fills.
My relationship with my Grandpa Bob was not typical. My grandparents (my dad's parents) divorced before I my parents were even married. He remarried and had a new family so I didn't have a whole lot of contact with him. I can count on 1 hand the number of times I remember being with him as a child. After we moved to Las Vegas the contact was basically non-existent. In fact, I referred to him as Bob instead of Grandpa. He had a heart attack in 1994 and it was thought that he wouldn't make it through that. I remember calling and speaking to him on the phone while he was still in the hospital and it was the start of something different. After my sister had my nephew in 1995 I went back to visit often and saw my Grandpa on every visit because my sister and he were very close because my step-aunt had a daughter that was only a month older than my nephew. They spent a lot of time together. In 1997 I had my son and my first visit back home with him was when he was 1 1/2. My grandpa didn't get to meet my son until he was 3. I went home for Christmas in 2000 and Grandpa's wife had just passed away. My real relationship started with him after that. He got a kick out of my son and couldn't believe how much he looked like me when I was little. I will admit that his comment threw me a little because I never would have expected that comment to come from him.
After that Christmas I spoke to my grandpa a few times a year. We would have hour long conversations where we caught up on each other's lives. When my Grandma Betty was diagnosed with cancer in October 2005 my grandpa spent a lot of time with her. When she passed away in July 2006 my relationship with my grandpa grew even more. He would often tell me how much he regretted not being close to me when I was young. I always told him it was okay (because that is what I do). We spoke on the phone and I sent him cards. He was unable to come to my wedding in 2007 because he was working and money was tight. I am very happy that he was able to meet my husband in 2009 when we went home for Thanksgiving. We sat in my dad's living room and talked for almost 2 hours. I got photos with him, my dad and my son. It is a 4 generation photo that I will treasure. I wish I would have known that it was going to be the last time I would see him. We usually spoke on the phone every couple of months, but the end of last year when he was getting sick often I called every few weeks to check on him. He spent a lot of time in the hospital because he just couldn't get his breathing back to where it needed to be which frustrated him because he wanted to get out of the hospital and get back to work (sounds just like my dad...I see where he gets it from).
I hate to say it but the last time I spoke with my grandpa was in May. The reason I called him? I needed to get family health information for my pre-op appt with my surgeon. I told him about getting surgery and he said that he was happy and he couldn't wait to see how I looked the next time he saw me (which was supposed to be in November). I cry that I won't get that opportunity. He sees me but I won't get to see him. Won't get another hug from him. Won't have another long talk with him. The 10 years that I had a relationship with him was just as good as a lifetime. Rest in Peace Grandpa. I will miss you.