I woke up today and looked at the calendar. (the incredibly HOT pinup calendar Chels made me for our last anniversary) Today is the 1 year anniversary of the death of my grandfather. To say that my grandfather was a great man would be a tremendous understatement. My grandpa was the epitome of our greatest generation. A beloved family man/WWII badass! He is a true American hero and the greatest example of what a father and husband should be. Outside of my wife I can't think of someone who I am more proud to be associated with.
He was married to my grandmother for 65 years and he catered to her every need for all 65 of them. We always teased my grandma because she would have my grandpa do EVERYTHING for her :-) In his later years it got to where the roles were somewhat reversed and my grandma took care of his every need for the last ten years of his life. She cooked and cleaned and made special candy, just for him because he has diabetes. But still even in his latest years he would do everything that he could to show is wife how much he loved her. Every morning my grandma would go out for a morning walk with her friends. And every morning when she would come home, my grandpa would have her breakfast on the table waiting for her. He could hardly see anything, but he would always manage to have her breakfast ready, just the way she liked it. A few months before he died he was having some problems keeping weight on. The doctors thought that they might have to put in a feeding tube to help Grandpa get all of the nutrients he needed. My grandma was DEVASTATED. Their whole lives were based around eating together. She would fix him his special meals or they would go out to eat with her sister and her sister's husband. If Grandpa couldn't eat, when would they talk? What would they do? It was one of my greatest honors to give my grandfather and grandmother a priesthood blessing at that difficult time. I remember the overwhelming amount of love that poured out from my grandmother as I laid my hands on her head. And I could also feel how much love my grandpa had for her. When the blessing was over she stood up and gave me a big hug and told me that she knew everything was going to be okay. Grandpa promptly smacked her on the butt and told her that if she didn't cheer up, he was going to go and pull a switch from one of the trees out back and belt her with it. About a month later my grandpa fell while making his daily walk to the corner of the driveway and back. He broke his femur and needed surgery. He made it out of surgery but his body had a hard time recovering and it quickly became apparent that he wasn't going to make it. He died early in the morning on 09/23/10 with his darling wife and 5 girls all standing around him.
While I was driving into work today I was listening to my iPod. It's amazing how songs can conjure up so many memories and emotions. I can't tell you how many times I'm driving down the road and think, "This is a Jane song!" But that's an entirely different post :-) This morning I was listening to a song by Death Cab for Cutie called "What Sarah Said."
It took me back to 2008 when Chelsi was having a grand maul seizure every other week. I remember spending New Years in our apartment in Logan watching Carson Daily and a ball drop (O.C.) while Chels was out cold after having had a seizure that same day. That year, there was a seizure on Valentines Day, and Her birthday... I look back to those times and my heart sinks.
I remember one night she was struggling. She was SO discouraged and afraid. She was crying and crying about how hard it was, how she didn't know if she was every going to be normal, how she didn't know if she was ever going to be a mom. At the time I wasn't so sure myself. In fact I wasn't so sure she was even going to be alive if she kept having seizures at the rate she was having them. I later found out that I we shared this same unspoken fear. It was tough because she would have a seizure, and just when she was almost recovered, she would have another seizure. She went more than a year dealing with this. That night I did my best to talk her off the ledge. She was finished, ready to give up. She didn't know if she could do it anymore; neither did I. But I dug deep and told her that I KNEW she could do it. I KNEW that everything was going to be okay. We went to bed and later that night and I woke up to Chelsi having another seizure. I called 911, I did all of the things that I usually do. Get her dressed, explain to her over and over what happened, try and ask her questions to jump start her brain a little bit. The paramedics came and as soon as the ambulance drove away with Chels in the back... I broke down in tears. It was the LAST thing she needed.
Last night we watched Steel Magnolias... I know, don't give me Sh*t! Spoiler alert it's a sad show. If you haven't seen the movie, I suggest watching it. I couldn't help noticing a parallel between my sweet wife and Shelby(Julia Roberts). What would I have done If Chelsi's seizures never got better? If Chelsi couldn't have taken anymore? What if Chelsi DID get pregnant, had the baby, and then her lil body couldn't handle anymore? What if I were a single Dad? It has always been my greatest fear.
At my grandpa's viewing my grandma was a WRECK! When trying to comfort her, she looked at Chelsi and I and said, "I'm starting to wonder whether it was worth it... maybe I shouldn't have liked him so much. I know I'll see him again but I miss him right now!" I can't imagine how much I would miss Chelsi if she were gone. Just thinking about it upsets my stomach. I don't know if you can tell... but we're kinda close. Since January 18th, 2006, I don't think there has been a single night we've spent apart where Chelsi hasn't cried. I can't imagine what it will feel like in 60 years when Chelsi and I are where my grandparents were. I look at the way my grandpa loved his wife, I love my wife that way. I LIVE to serve her, just like my grandpa served his eternal sweetheart. As I reflect today about who my grandfather was, I hope that someday he can be as proud to be related to me as I am to him. I hope that I can live up to his example because he and my grandma are the embodiment of happily ever after.
I know boys don’t dream about Happily Ever After like girls do but we do think about having an awesome smokin hot wife and a perfect and happy life. But when we think of our happily ever afters, I think we all imagine all of the great times that are ahead of us. I found my Princess/Prince Charming, we're in love and nothing bad will ever happen... the end.
The truth is, life is HARD. The only thing that makes it easier is Love. In fact happily ever after is just true love. And love can be a million different things! Sometimes love is inspiration when things couldn't get any worse. Love is carrying her, when she no longer has the strength. Love is buying her flowers. Love is cleaning the house. Love is watching 2 football games back to back. Love is going to see the stupid movie. Love is completely disregarding YOUR wants and desires to afford the one you love the most all of THEIR wants and desires. Love is listening to his stories that you’ve heard a million times, and still laughing. Love is hanging up the clothes you’ve thrown on the floor of the closet in your man cave. Love is drawing her a hot bath and creating the proper ambiance for a good book. Love is putting the moves on HIM! Love is forgiveness. Love is being there during those most difficult moments. LOVE, is "What Sarah Said." "Love is watching someone die."
Rest in peace my beloved hero; I miss you. I love you my darling Angel! I promise that when you make that journey from one side of the vail to the other, I'll be the one holding your hand.