Saying Goodbye

This weekend we drove home to Camarillo to say goodbye to my Grandpa Wilber. While it was really hard to say goodbye, I'm thankful we had the chance. He died on April 4th, 2012.
Cora meets her Great Grandparents (Christmas 2011)

In many ways the grandpa I knew had been gone for a while. As Parkinsons took over his body, and a few strokes made it difficult to communicate, his quality of life had deteriorated. For the past few years now each holiday with grandpa could have been our last, but I knew that it was serious when my mom called a couple Sundays ago and asked us to come say goodbye.

Seeing him was hard. There was a mass in his brain that was making it hard for him to swallow much less communicate, so we sat with him. I told Cora stories about how wonderful he was.

I told him that we would always tell Cora about what a patient, tenacious, joyful man her great-grandpa was. How he took every downturn of his sickness with faith and peace.

I told Stu and Cora about our last trip to Tahoe together as a family, before grandpa's Parkinsons got really bad, and how we all went parasailing together while grandma stood on the dock terrified, refusing to watch. I'm pretty sure that was his favorite way to see the lake. I told them about how despite my many, frequent tantrums growing up at his house, he never once yelled at me or raised his voice. I told them about our summers, meeting up every Thursday for "Grandma and Grandpa Day!" adventures. How we would play baseball in the field next to their house, sit at the beach all day, go out for ice cream, or play mini-golf at Golf-N-Stuff.

We made promises to play trac-ball in Lake Tahoe at Camp Richardson, to go camping in Yosemite, and to teach Cora to love the Dodgers despite growing up in northern California.
Wearing Dodger Blue in honor of Great-Grandpa. 4/4/12
We told him that we loved him and that his daughter, Janice, was waiting so impatiently for him to join her in heaven. And then we kissed him goodbye.

I love you grandpa. We'll see you soon.

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