My grandfather has been battling cancer since the summer of 2010 and fortunately Quentin and I visited him last July because his time on earth came to an end January 8. We were told that we would pass away within the next two days on Friday, January 6 and so Quentin and I flew to Wyoming the next day.
It was an emotional week to say the least, but I am so glad I was able to be there. I was nervous that being there while my grandpa was dying would be too hard and too sad, while it was hard and it was sad it was also a very spiritual experience. He definitely did not look like himself, but that didn't change the way I remember him and seeing him that way made it easier to let him go knowing that he was pretty much already gone anyway. I also felt like it was nice to be there for my grandma and other family members who were closer to him as they mourned and I was there for my grandpa as he made this step into the unknown.
Sunday night I actually said my good-bye to him before we left. Quentin was having a major breakdown in the other room so it was quick, but I told him that I appreciated his good example to me and told him I would miss him. I'm sure I could have thought of a million other things to say, but I'm glad that I was able to kiss him on the cheek as he had done to me so many times before. He would always kiss both of my cheeks and hug me every time I saw him and I'm really going to miss that. I look forward to it when I see him again on the other side.
I haven't been able to spend as much time with my grandparents as I would have liked because my parents divorced when I was less than a year old and then we moved to another town. My grandpa was one of those people who was very easy to love. He had a way of making me feel very special and loved just by looking at me.
He was always a teacher. Very open and anxious to hear your opinion about things. He and my grandmother have always been very supportive of me. They have attended all four of my graduations, my mission farewell, and my wedding. They even contributed to my mission fund.
I'm thankful for his good example of service to his God, family, and country, having served three missions, married in the temple for over 57 years, raised eight children, served in the Korean War, and worked at the State Hospital for 22 years after receiving a Ph.D. in educational psychology. (You can read his obituary here.) I'm lucky to have been his granddaughter and I hope I can live a fulfilling life like he did.