My Grandpa passed on Christmas night

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posted on Dec, 29 2012 @ 10:57 PM
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Just wanted to share with my 'extended family' what has happened over the Christmas Holiday.

We celebrated Christmas early this year as my Brother flew in from az. to be with our 97 yro Grandpa for the 1 year anniversary of his beloved bride of 55 years Grandma Dottie.

Some of you may remember my thread about the greatest teachers being the oldest generations who have survived some of the darkest times in our US history, the great depression, if you missed it it is well worth the read imo.

Anyway, after Grandma passed last year and that same night Grandpa lay on his bedroom floor with a broken hip almost losing his life too, it was decided he would come live with my boys and I as we were already very close and it would be the best way to move forward.

There is so much to learn from the older generations, perhaps because they came from a much simpler time when people did not have the modern distractions of technology. Holidays held a different meaning as large families gathered into warm little houses smelling of fresh hot bread, pallets on the floor and none of the rush or pressure of how many presents or did I manage to get something for everyone on my list?

The memories of the past were filled with the excitement of getting together with cousins, Aunts and Uncles, Grandparents and spending time together.

So this Christmas was very different.


Ok so I digress, Grandpa began counting down the days until the eve of Grandmas 1 year anniversary.

Last week my Grandpa developed a cough around the date of Grandmas passing and on the night of the 17th he even said his final goodbyes. We of course loved on him and told him everything would be alright and that we would see him in the morning and have a big country breakfast, his favorite meal of the day. (He loved to see a big spread on the dinning room table of biscuits and gravy, bacon and sausage, fried eggs and hashbrowns...

On the night of the 18th, he again said his goodbyes at bedtime and insisted that he would not be able to be with us any more, something which saddened him greatly as he loved us all so much.

The morning of the 19th, he woke asked what the date was, and when I told him "the 19th", without a blink in his eye looked to his left and stated "When is Christmas? I mean how many days?"

My Brother left to go home and the following day Grandpas cough began to become productive, I took him to his DR and he was booked up so decided to try the local walk-in clinic. They said it was a sinus infection, took x-rays to rule out pneumonia at his age and wrote an RX for antibiotic, told him to take muconex and sent him home.

2 days later he was feeling a little bit better but not well so I kept his scheduled 3 month appointment with the DR., who gave a him a big shot of an other antibiotic to ward off any possibility of pneumonia, and sent him home.

The next day he began to get really weak, he was just exhausted and tired acting, keeping him hydrated was about all I could get him to do as food was a big turn off that day although he did try to eat just a little.

That night he got flu like symptoms and i was up showering him and caretaking until he finally settled down and went to sleep clean and fresh.

He was so sick and weak, shaking I had to take him to the ER in the afternoon, shortly after arriving he took a turn for the worst and was really in bad shape, the ER admitted him and without much detail all I can say is that while sitting straight up he began having what could only be described as panic attacks, fear of death, terror at being 'in' the hospital.

This brings us up to Christmas eve, that morning I fed him both lunch and dinner, although he did not eat much it felt good to see him try.

His levels showed that he had sustained dehydration and was in kidney failure. Doing everything they could was just not enough, he was slipping away.

At one point I went to go home, shower and pick up my sons to join us at the hospital. When we got back he had been frantically calling my name, he was vomiting, sick, so sick.

Helping him get settled it was about 11pm Christmas eve and I told him I would be taking the boys home to get some food and rest and that I would be right back, well I no sooner entered the door when the phone rang, it was the hospital with grave news and that if I wanted to be there for his end I needed to rush back, quickly.

The kids came back with me. The DR was there along with a couple nurses and they said he only had minutes, he was mottled from waist to toes, he was chain stoking, breathing the final suffering breaths.

I said Let me take him home! Get an ambulance, this is not what he wanted, this is not what I promised! Of course I 'knew' that on that cold, freezing snowy night he would not make home in his condition. It was then I begged, I pleaded the Dr for a Christmas miracle.

Like a little girl convinced that Santa Claus would soon be here I was without shame and grasped the DR through tears and asked him to create the Christmas Miracle. He left the room sad and unable to help.

We began to talk Grandpa through the process, talking about all the names of everyone who loves him (He is so loved by everyone, hundreds of close family and friends) and on the monitor was the time, the children and I for some odd reason did the count down to Christmas...

10,9,8... we counted as if we were counting for our very souls, 7,6,5,4, and the room began to fill with a light, a glow, a warmth that was not of this world, 3,2,1, IT's CHRISTMAS!!!

Merry Christmas!! And with those words something inside me sprang forth and I said to everyone,

"It is a Christmas Miracle! Can you feel it? It's a miracle"

Really not knowing what was going on we surrounded Grandpa, and soon the Dr and nurse came back in and I told them, to call hospice, call them now and make arrangements for Grandpa to home right away, as soon they could make it happen.

The Dr said, it is Christmas eve, Christmas and there is no one available, I told him to plan on doing it first thing in the morning. He then said if your Grandpa can make it to 7am, I will try and see what I can do but it will probably be day after tomorrow before we can get anyone to sign him up.

I told you just leave that to the Christmas miracle and I will check back promptly at 7am...

I am going to take a break from this "Christmas Miracle" yet promise to return to let you know just what happened next.




posted on Dec, 29 2012 @ 11:03 PM
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reply to post by antar
 


What a Blessing, for no matter what, he will be remembered every Christmas!
Blessings to him in the next world, and Happy New Year to yours in this World.




posted on Dec, 29 2012 @ 11:25 PM
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I'm so sorry for you and your family that you lost your grandfather. Just know he is in a great place and with his beloved bride.



posted on Dec, 29 2012 @ 11:33 PM
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Ok so, that night I laid my head on his shoulder, hand on his heart and holding his hands, cat napped as he talked about his life, he was asleep for all intent purposes yet I knew the people he talked about and could imagine where he was as he said things softly and loving like "Ah Sis, sis..." (His sister Naomi "Sis" passed in the 50's and was probably his favorite sister out of 5 sisters and 4 brothers) At one point he pointed his finger and said sternly "Now Sis, get down there (probably the barn) and help Dad."

So through the night I kept waiting for the light of morning, waiting with faith, love and hope for the next Christmas Miracle to pass.

At 6 am I jaunted out to the nurses station and announced that it is 7 now could she please make the call to hospice? She had me look at the clock, it was only 6, I embarrassingly apologized and headed back to Grandpas room to cuddle back up for an hour.

It was 130 pm on Christmas day when I bundled Grandpa up in his warm dog eared cap and gloves to follow the ambulance home.

I could barely see the road before me through the gushing tears that flowed, tears, sadness, worry that he may not make it the 10 miles out country roads to our home. The ambulance drove in excess of 70mph at times down the hwy which is rarely seen unless they have lights flashing in route to the hospital, that worried me.

It was so cold, but upon arriving home there was the familiar feel of Christmas in the country with the oak logs burning hot on the fire, a turkey in the oven as my ex Mom in law had come to help make sure everything was just right for his homecoming.

I will be right back to finish if any one is interested in this most precious part, at least it was for us.

(Have to go make a fresh hot toddy, before I finish and then head for bed)



posted on Dec, 29 2012 @ 11:58 PM
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Silly me, I bypassed the toddy for a little slice of the chocolate cake on the counter...

Grandpa arrived home sometime after 130 and a few minutes Hospice showed up to sign us in for their services.

Once she left it began to feel like a presence was about the whole house, the twinkling lights seemed to shine brighter, the lighting itself seemed to take on a crystal golden glow. Everyone felt at ease, peaceful.

We 'knew' that the greatest of all Christmas blessings were upon us.

Grandpa was 'home'.

I enjoyed those few hours and around 635 or so went to the kitchen to slice some of the turkey on the stovetop and make a plate, it dawned on me like a flash that after all we had been through the night before someone needed to be in the room with Grandpa at all times even though there was a very good baby monitor beside his bed.

Unusually quiet were all 3 boys, and when I called to them to tell them what I was feeling, without hesitation not one but all three went into Grandpas room. A few seconds later my oldest came out to say "Were not sure Grandpa is still with us..."

I dropped the plate and headed up to Grandpas room where I found the two younger boys in kneeling position in front of Grandpa softly crying and holding his warm hand.

I knelt down and at that precise moment he let out a peaceful exhale. We all exhaled as well and I told the boys that he is just breathing so relaxedly right now but ok.

I began to stoke his hair thinking it looks like an Angels wings when we all heard him serenely release his gentle and yet final breath.

He was gone from his body. He died peacefully and with grace the same as he lived his life.



posted on Dec, 30 2012 @ 12:00 AM
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I havn't even heard the whole story yet and am already in tears.



posted on Dec, 30 2012 @ 12:05 AM
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What a touching story. So sad that he has passed on, but he is with his wife and other family members now. Rest in peace Grandpa. You are a wonderful Grandaughter to have taken him into your home with great care and love. I am sure he appreciates that more than words could ever say.

My deepest sympathy to you and your family.



posted on Dec, 30 2012 @ 12:06 AM
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How to condense into a short eulogy 97 1/2 years

of a life well lived? The short answer is that we

cannot and will not ever be able to do so, and

with that said lets do the best we can to pay him

the honor and respect he so richly deserves. Let

us firstly acknowledge what we know about our

beloved Father,son, brother, uncle, grandfather,

friend.

Friend... that is an important word right now

because there have been many times that he has

said that not only is that particular person his

family,his circle of dearly loved, but that he

also considers them his "friend".

This places such an important meaning to the word

friend that reaches far beyond what most people

have taken for granted. When Phil said the word

it rose up from his heart and encompassed a

lifetime of experiences with those individuals...

often times those memories were not even the big

things in life, they were more a compilation of

what most consider the "little things".

We have all been touched by the wit, humor,

intelligence and wisdom of this beautiful man,

each one of us today is holding deep in our

hearts and minds the little stories and the life

lessons he has shared with us and taken the time

to teach.

So today lets take just a brief minute to embrace

our own personal memories of how he has touched

our lives and created experiences that will last

all of us a lifetime.

(Pause for 10 seconds)

Whether it was fishing, hunting, working,

worshiping, or those precious moments spent at

his kitchen table drinking coffee, one thing is

certain, we can all be assured that "we" have

touched his life as much as he has ours.

We have helped to make his journey one that was

complete, loved, respected and honored.

Friends and relatives are the people who we meet

that enrich our lives and create our life story,

we can all take pride in knowing that we have

helped to write the various chapters that have

made this one mans life a best seller.

Thank you to every single person here today and

those that were unable to make the journey to

gather with us physically, and are sending their

support, thought, love and prayers.

(Very Brief life history)

Phil started life in Kiowa Kansas then moved as a

small child to Halfway and grew up working the

family farms. At age 5 he was injured by a harrow

after he decided to "help Dad" by hooking up the

team and working the pasture unattended." For the

family they prayed he could survive and heal from

the accident but for little Phil he prayed for

God to heal him so he could get back to work!

As a young man he went into the CCC building

roads and learning many of the skills he would

use for the rest of his life, driving trucks and

heavy equipment.

Phil was a 'Teamster' in the early days actually

driving teams of mules, delivering cargo by the

wagon load. He continued on as a lifelong

teamster and proud union member.

He always enjoyed recounting endless stories of

his adventures working building roads and working

on the railroad in Arizona in the early 1940's,

where he met his first wife Mildred Shaw and soon

after giving birth to his Daughter Sharron Gayle,

then later living and working in California,

raising a family.

Traveling back home to Missouri along the old

route 66 brought some of the best memories of

all. He never stayed away too long and remembered

to always care for all of his family no matter

where he was. He continued his life of hard work,

working the farm and driving heavy equipment

until age 93 when his body just would no longer

let him climb up into his equipment. Phils great

loves were his wife Dotty, his family his friends

and his work.

In closing lets read a few personal stories by

family and friends about those "little" moments

that have enriched not only Phil's life

experience but our own.

Personal remembrances and stories....

Grandpa has told a story about him going out with

his friends one night and coming in late, when he

walked into his Moms kitchen he found a table

full of Pumpkin pies for the Thanksgiving dinner

the next day. Well he sat down to just take a

"little" bite and before he knew it he had eaten

6 pies!

Climbing into bed he just knew he was in deep

trouble but to his surprise about 5 oclock the

next morning he awoke to the sound he cherished

for the rest of his life as he laid there

listening to his sisters and mom laughing harder

than he had ever heard them before.

He rolled out of the bed and stepped into the

kitchen and saw his Mom and sisters busy making

more pies between tear stained eyes of laughter.

His Granddaughter Julie recalls how he taught her

to ride Cindy for the first time, he asked her if

she wanted to learn and led her down to the barn

where he said "Now I am only going to show you

this one time and one time only." He then

proceeded to groom and saddle Cindy and when he

placed emphasis on girting her to tighten the

saddle it made Julie feel bad for Cindy... He

asked her if she had payed attention and was

ready to ride and when she "yes", he then

unsaddled Cindy, and walked out of the barn!


Julie fearing that big giant, decided to girt her

gently so as to make friends with the mare...

well as you can imagine about 30 minutes later

all of Polk county could hear her screams of

terror shouting loudly "Grandpa!!! Help!!! as she

rode back to the barn gripping Cindy with her

thighs to stay on her from under her belly.


He taught her drive the old push button start

Chevy wooden flatbed truck the same way and that

time Julie actually paid attention!!!

Many stories were exchanged over hot breakfast

coffee at Grandpa's table. perhaps one of the

most memorable and one of the funniest stories

from him was when he worked at the CCC camp. The

cook was tired of everyone complaining about

something in one way or another every morning at

breakfast. If it wasn't one thing, it was

another, whether it be "my eggs are underdone"

or "this toast has black on it" the cook got

complaints every morning and one day he got fed

up with it and told th people there "The next

person who complains is gonna be cook from here

on out." so no one complained for a whole week.

The cook decided he needed a break and that if

they wouldn't complain on their own, he'd make

them complain. The cook took a whole handful of

salt and poured it in one of the guy's biscuits

and gravy so that he'd have to complain.The guy

takes a bite out of his and yells " Dang! those

biscuits and gravy are salty!" about to spit them

out, he sees the cook looking at him. He swallows

the bite and sits back down and says "just the

way I like 'em." and proceeds to finish his bowl.


One more story that his daughter Sharron held

dear to her heart was how when she was a little

girl her Daddy would always cut the heart of the

watermelon out and give that to her, it was not

that he didn't love that heart just as much, but

one of the things he has always taught us all is

that when you give, you always give the best of

what you have.

They like to say, "Well, he's in a better place

now" but anyone who truly knew him would say that

for Phil he found, family, friends and

a good days work here on on earth just a little

slice of heaven...

The world we live in is now just a little dimmer

and heaven is lot brighter.
edit on 30-12-2012 by antar because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 30 2012 @ 12:15 AM
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With the utmost condolences, respect and regards to you and your family.

beez



posted on Dec, 30 2012 @ 12:16 AM
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reply to post by beezzer
 


It has been a river of tears.



posted on Dec, 30 2012 @ 12:28 AM
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Oh Antar, you have my deepest condolences and at the same time, I feel it's right to say I'm glad you were able to see that he was at home and with those he loved most. Sorry..your story got to me... Thanks for sharing. It was very touching to read. May he rest in peace after a life so full and well lived by all you've said. He sounds like a very special Soul.



posted on Dec, 30 2012 @ 12:32 AM
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reply to post by antar
 


I'm so sorry to hear that, my condolences to you and your family my friend.


I guess you could say he had a very good run at it, and had much wisdom to share to you and your boys. It sounds like he passed very peacefully though, and given the fact his family and loved ones who have already passed on seem to be around him, it would seem his passing is just the beginning of a brand new adventure for him beyond this life.

As always, my ear (and inbox) is yours if you need someone to talk to.



posted on Dec, 30 2012 @ 12:32 AM
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Originally posted by antar
reply to post by beezzer
 


It has been a river of tears.


Then that speaks highly of him and his impact on your life. There is no better tribute than to be remembered.

edit on 30-12-2012 by beezzer because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 30 2012 @ 12:49 AM
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Originally posted by antar
reply to post by beezzer
 


It has been a river of tears.


I feel for you deeply, having lost my 4 grandparents when i was young, i remember it as if it was happening now.

Peace and love,

Andro



posted on Dec, 30 2012 @ 10:17 AM
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Dear Antar -

I feel, most assuredly, that you and yours have experienced more of what Christmas is all about this year than all of us put together out here! Thankyou for sharing this most personal part of your life with us. It beats any sermon I've ever put up with.

The connectedness of family has been the foundation of all my most memorable Christmases, even if I didn't know it at the time, but now that so many are gone, and going, I find it difficult to try and figure out how to fulfill my obligation now as a senior in the family for the youngest ones. Their perspective on life seems so different from what mine was as a kid back in the 60's.

Your grandfather was, indeed, a blessed man to have such a great family around him to do what you did for him. I'm sorry for his anxiety at the prospect of crossing the threshold given all the ones he was likely to be back in contact with when it occured. I'd have to chalk that up to his physical condition at the time because it does take a certain amount of energy to face the unknown. If you feel inadequate in any way you just don't feel up to it. This is one thing I've assigned a lot of fault to with our churches in not talking and teaching more about our role here on Earth and with our time of passing. I've come to believe very strongly that there is much to know that would make these times much easier on all concerned. Your kids have learned a valuable lesson that we're normally sheilded from nowadays even though they may take many years to assimilate the information. May you all be blessed by the experience.

I pray for peace through wisdom and strength for you all in the years ahead.



posted on Dec, 30 2012 @ 10:46 AM
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Aaawwww Sugar, I am reeling with condolence.
I lost mine in March 2010, and know what a huge wound something like this leaves on a family. I am bawling right now because there is so much I'd like to share with you, but I have grown wary of casting pearls on ATS. I love our little ATS community, warts and all, but after a while you tend to let your guard down less and less because it seems like there is so much anger and resentment on here nowadays.

What I will do is this, I will post my blog entry that very much resembles what you've shared with us here. So much so, that it seems that you and I have been cut from the same cloth, so to speak. I am sharing this with you because I feel very strongly that it will give you the kind of comfort that you so desperately need right now. And even though I am a total stranger, I am truly your sister in grief and the kind of loss suffered by the passing of such a remarkable human being that is so hard to articulate to someone who hasn't experienced it.

Before I post this intimate look at my own life, I will state that I am a believer in Christ and what I am about to post reflects my personal faith. I claim no denomination. I am a work in progress and I do my best to live by the Golden Rule. I pass no judgment on anyone and I simply ask that those who read this blog entry return the same. We are all brothers and sisters in humanity, especially during times of grief and loss.

To fit the blog entry in its entirety in one post, please see my post below.

Much love to you and yours.



posted on Dec, 30 2012 @ 10:48 AM
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This is from the March 2010 post on my personal blog concerning the passing of my grandfather, whom we called "Pappaw":

At home growing up, whenever Pap would walk out the back door, he would always say, "I'll be back d'rectly..."
To my knowledge, "d'rectly" is not a specific unit of time. It can be compared to a "handfull" or "some" or "a little bit"-- all three of which give us measures we understand and recognize, but all three of which cannot be defined by a specific unit of measurement. I liken these three terms of measurement to include "eternity." We understand eternity as a measure of time, but one that simply cannot be explicitly measured.
I wrote the eulogy for my Pappaw's funeral yesterday, Wednesday, March 3rd, at 11:00 a.m. at Mooringsport Baptist Church. I have added a few additional comments and made a few editorial corrections, however the portion of the original eulogy has not been altered by any deletion.

Throughout Pappaw’s medical treatment over the last 4 years or so, those in our family, myself included, who would have a moment of weakness & cry in front of Pappaw would be quickly hushed by him saying-
“Now Tootie, don’t you cry. Don’t you cry for your Pappaw. You just hush. Your Pappaw is gonna be all-right.”

Today, I know he is in a better place.
I know he is no longer suffering
and I know that everything is going to be okay.

But I am still sad.

I don’t cry for Pappaw because where he is now is his gain.
I cry for me, my children and everyone else that had the pleasure to know Pappaw,
because with his gain, comes our loss.

The void of that loss is replaced with the memories of a man
who was my Pappaw, my Daddy, my Teacher
and my Friend.

My memories of Pappaw are of his patience, which was almost unbearable at times especially if you ever got behind him on the road.
He loved turnip greens and cornbread.
His favorite thing to wear was his Halliburton coveralls and he always had to have his head covered so it wouldn’t get sunburned.
His favorite ice cream was buttered pecan and black walnut.
He liked his eggs runny and his ice water with more ice than water.
He loved Bugs Bunny, baseball and boxing.
His favorite song was "Tennessee Waltz" and he loved John Wayne.
His eyes were blue, his nose was crooked and his false teeth clacked when he ate.

There from the moment I was born, Papaw has truly been the man in my life—
it was his lap that I crawled up in for comfort
his hands that spanked my bottom when I had done wrong
his hard-earned money that bought me my first car
his diligence that taught me to have manners-- saying “yes ma'am & no sir”
his feet that walked me down the aisle to present me to my husband—‘til death do us part.

Pappaw is the standard by which I measure all other men…
...and those are some pretty big shoes to fill.

Pappaw was a simple man and I’m not up here to try and convince anyone that he was perfect. We are all far from being perfect, however we are works in a progression towards perfection, as taught to us by God in the shape of a Man who walked this earth over 2000 years ago.
That Man who first and foremost taught us to love God above all else,
and then to love our neighbor and love our enemy;
to be eager to forgive and quick to forget and to live by the “Golden Rule.”

For all intents and purposes, Pap lived out his life treating others the way he wanted to be treated.
Pap was quick to forgive and was not inclined to hold a grudge or resentment.
He knew the difference between hating the sin, but loving the sinner.
He was compassionate, humble and kind.
I know that he feared and respected God.
Most importantly, he was content.
Those are my memories of Pappaw.

I know for a fact that late Saturday night, early Sunday morning, he was right with God.
He had long been forgiven and he lay there loved.
I know because I will forever have the memory of those precious, private moments with him holding his warm, soft hand as he lay in bed last Saturday.
Quietly singing to him.
Whispering in his ear that it was okay to be afraid,
but that he was not alone.
That we were there with him, by his side, to help him find his way.
It's okay to be afraid,
you won't have to do this alone.
Wondering who else was there in the bedroom with me that I simply couldn't see, while I listened to his shallow, labored breathing as his body held on to his soul for those last few hours on this earth.
Wondering where he would go-- exactly, in relation to time and space, when his body finally let him free.
Once it was done, the final look on his aged and withered face was one of contentment.
My heart was broken, but he had found peace.

Therefore, this is a time for celebration.
It is a time for celebration because Pappaw the Daddy & the husband,
Pappaw the brother & the friend,
Pappaw the Tiger-Cat in the slow moving Toyota has gone to be with the Lord…
Eating purple hull peas and Better Boy tomatoes with Maw Maw.
Showing everybody the best way to fix an ingrown toenail.
Yo-yo fishing with Mr. Caskey and telling stories with Uncle Loonie.

Thank-you Pappaw, for the joy, humor and character you brought to our lives.
You have gone home to be with the Lord,
and everyone knows that there is no place like home. [i/]

edit on 30-12-2012 by stupid girl because: (no reason given)
edit on 30-12-2012 by stupid girl because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 30 2012 @ 10:53 AM
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I shed tears for you and your family...What a touching story..I am sorry for your loss.

I wish I could be so lucky to have you all as a family. Getting him home was what seemed to be his only wish. He wanted to make it to Christmas and be surrounded in a familiar setting with loved ones. Thankfully he passed away in peace.....

((((HUGS))))



posted on Dec, 30 2012 @ 11:13 AM
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reply to post by antar
 


Explanation: S&F!

My deepest condolences antar


Personal Disclosure: An amazing obituary!


I hope I have someone like you around me in my last moments of need!


May your grandfather rest in peace with his beloved wife. Amen!



posted on Dec, 30 2012 @ 11:59 AM
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My condolences dear Antar. Your sharing is cathartic, for you and for all of us.
I was with my granmother when she passed two years ago. She was 4 weeks from turning 99 yrs young. She was mad about it, said "if I turn 99, that means I'll turn 100, and I just don't want that." But she passed just as beautifully and surrounded with love. I had no fear when the time approached, but felt a blessed love among us all.
Thank you for giving us a glimpse of his life with you. May God bless you and keep you, and comfort you in the days to come.





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