Saying Goodbye


When you get married, you marry more than just your spouse, you marry the whole family.  And in the case of Scott’s grandpa, I sure lucked out. 

I think I was smitten with him the first time I met him at our high school graduation.  I told Scott, “You have a Werther’s Original” grandpa.  I loved that he had a elbow patched sweater.  He just seemed like the classic picture of a grandpa.  Probably because he is the classic picture of a gentleman.

When we were engaged and heading back to college, he told Scott he was sure we’d be using the “armstrong heater” on our way back.  When I asked him what that was he demonstrated by putting his arm around me. 

On our wedding day he greeted us after the ceremony with a hug and then he said, “In case you want to know, I looked at my watch when the preacher pronounced you man and wife… you were official at 4:15.”   I would have never thought to seek out that information and yet I’ve truly appreciated knowing it. 

I can’t really tell you when, but sometime since then, he went from being Scott’s Grandpa, to Grandpa.  IMG_8635I truly couldn’t love him more if he were my own blood.   He has become such an active and vital part of our family.  He is a fabulous great grandpa.  Watching him with my kids has been one of the hugest blessings.  He has played such an active and engaged part of their lives.  He’s been to our house for every Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, kids birthday party, baptism…He’s been to soccer games and baseball games.  He went to the hospital after each kid was born to hold his newborn grandchild.  In fact for child number 3 and 4, he was the one we left the older siblings with when we drove to the hospital in labor.  I loved the way he played with them.  He doesn’t sit on the couch and watch them from a distance.  No, you find him wielding a light saber, holding a sleeping baby, carrying a toddler.


I have always appreciated the bond he has had with my oldest daughter. 


On her third birthday she sat on his lap while eating her cake.  There she sat happy as can be while she ate her entire piece of cake.  And there he sat happy as can be while she did.  I do believe it was a good 20 minutes before she finished and then he got his piece.  IMG_3395

When my 1 year old sees him he instantly holds out his hand to slap him five.  He’ll happily crawl on his lap and slap his hand till it goes numb.  Today I actually heard him call him Grandpa when he saw him in his (5)

Earlier this week we went to the nursing home to celebrate his 88nd birthday with him and 5 days later we returned to say goodbye.  As I type this Grandpa is still with us but it has become apparent that his hours with us are very limited.  Scott and I really struggled as to whether or not we take the kids to say goodbye or let their last visit be his birthday party on Sunday.  But, the kids wanted to go and I think they actually needed to go to say goodbye.  They love him and are going to truly miss him.  While we all know he’ll be in heaven soon with Jesus and Great Nana and we are happy that he’ll be out of pain and able to walk around like we remember him doing before his strokes, this process of saying goodbye is very hard because, in the words of my youngest daughter, “I want him here… where I can see him, walking around our house with us.”


  1. My heart aches for you & your family. My son lost his "Mimi" last year and he still speaks of her often. He misses her so, we found out the week she passed is the same week we finally got pregnant with our little girl. Our son told me a few weeks ago he misses his Mimi's lap the most. Its so hard when they are little. God Bless all of you.

  2. Crystal,

    Thank you so much for sharing that along with the pictures. I cried the whole way through. I wish we could be closer, but glad mom and dad can be at his bedside. We will miss him dearly, and thankful for the memories, and time we've been able to share with him.

  3. You have written a beautiful tribute to a wonderful man. I'm so glad that your family has had the time to say goodbye to him. You will all miss him greatly. You'll be in my prayers during this time.

  4. Dear friend! I am so sorry for your loss! I will miss his smiles at the parties and festivities as well! May your time of remembrance be one that is full of sweetness. But truly a time of grief will be part of this time. Please let me know when the service is. I am so very sorry! Loving you and the family!

  5. This breaks my heart! Just went through the same thing with my grandma. She's in heaven now. What a wonderful legacy grandpa leaves behind.

  6. Crystal, I have been praying for "Grandpa" and the whole family for several days. What a gift you all have had in him. My prayers continue. I love you.

  7. The pictures are precious. You can tell how special he is just by looking at his expressions with the kids. I'm glad that he was blessed to see all of your children born- and that your children were blessed by his presence in their lives. My brother said recently when my Grandfather passed, "We knew it was coming eventually, but it still knocks the wind out of you when it happens." I think that might have been an understatement...

  8. Sorry for your loss. Such wonderful pictures. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Thinking of you ALL. You & Scott have been wonderful Grandchildren You make it easy for us all to lovr you. let me know when he is gone I know his wife is waiting for him.

  10. I'm so sorry for you loss. What precious memories of a very special grandpa. What a blessing it must have been to have your children know him like they did. Your family will be in my thoughts and prayers. :( Love you girlie!


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