Saturday, August 8, 2009

My Grandpa

I've been away for the past week for a very sad reason. My mom called me last Wednesday night around 11pm my time. As soon as I saw her number on the caller ID I knew something was wrong because she never calls me that late (even though it was only 4pm for her). A number of thoughts ran through my head about what could be wrong and who might have died. But not for one second did I think it was Grandpa, and so I was beyond shocked when she simply said "Grandpa died." He was 91 years young. My Granny passed away in November after being sick for a very long time. Grandpa took care of her and made sure she had everything that she needed. It was nice to see him being able to enjoy life after her passing. He lived in an amazing assisted living facility in Florida where he had tons of friends and was actively involved in the community. I couldn't (and really still can't) comprehend that he was just gone. I'm so glad for him that it was quick and painless. He had driven his car (yup, almost 92 and still driving!!) around to the front of the building to pick up his friend to take her to the grocery store. Apparently, he got out of the car and just fell to ground and that was it. He had recently told my mom that he didn't want to be sick like my grandmother had been. He didn't want people to need to take care of him and worry about him. I'm so glad he got what he wished for. I just wish it didn't have to be so soon. The last conversation I had with him, the Friday before he died, we talked about our next visit to the US coming up in September. He was very much looking forward to it as were we.
After I hung up with my mom, I switched into planning mode. I had to book my flight, deal with work stuff, and figure out plans for the kids while I would be away. The funeral was set for Sunday, so I had a couple of days to get my act together. Luckily we have an amazing support network of friends here as well as a fantastic babysitter so I knew Krazy and the kids would be fine.
I flew out on Saturday night--Continental Flight 91 to Newark. Same flight I took in November when my Granny died. Packed flight. Middle seat. Overly concerned that the person sitting next to me would have swine flu and cough on me. I did take a few minutes to bask in the glory of traveling without kids. I am not the best flyer and I know my Grandpa was looking out for me and ensuring a smooth flight. I arrived at Newark at 4:45 in the morning and had 3 hours to kill before my flight to Boston. I finally made it to Boston and even had time to shower before the funeral.
While we were all sitting in the "family room" before the funeral, I just kept waiting for Grandpa to come into the room. I could see him and hear his voice so clearly. My aunt and I both spoke, but it was so hard to put into words what an amazing person he was.
My 4 days in Boston with my family went by too quickly and next thing I knew I was back on the plane. I had the most breath-taking view of New York City as we took off from Newark, but I cried tears of relief when I saw the coastline of Tel Aviv come into view 9 hours and 41 minutes later. It was good to be home.

Grandpa: September 5, 1917-July 29, 2009
We will love you and miss you forever.


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