This one might bring tears to your eyes when you read it as I have tears in my eyes as I'm writing it. I just want to make sure to remind ALL of you to spend time with your family members whenever you get the chance! No matter how busy you THINK you are!
My phone rang not too long ago. At first glance of the caller ID I thought it was my daughter's school, because it just said SCHOOLS and had the phone number so of course the first thing that went through my mind was something had happened to my daughter. After answering, I realized it was my aunt (who works at a school as a teacher) and was relieved to know nothing had happened to my little girl although I was immediately saddened at the news she was calling to give me. She was calling to let me know that they had just found her dad, my grandpa, in his home a few hours before. He had past away from what they think was a heart attack but they aren't sure yet.
Growing up I knew this grandpa quite well and saw him VERY frequently. This was my step-dad's father. By the time my mom and step-dad (whom I called dad) got married, grandpa wasn't married to my dad's mom anymore but had a second wife. While he was married to the second wife there were SO many big family dinners and gatherings. Seems like the family was ALWAYS together for some reason or another. Sometimes just because with no particular holiday or anything needed. When grandpa got divorced and remarried for a third time there were still family get togethers but not nearly as many. It definitely wasn't the same. Then when my parents divorced about 8 or 9 years ago, that was when we really never saw much of that side of the family hardly at all. Really sad how divorces split up families isn't it?
A few months ago, one of my uncles from that side of the family put together a big family barbeque at a park and his reasoning behind it was to get everyone together at least one last time before some of the elderly in the family past on. I'm sure he never dreamed it would happen so soon!
I am SO glad my uncle put together that family barbeque. It made it possible for me to see my grandpa one last time. Before the barbeque a few months ago, I can't remember the last time I had seen or talked to this grandpa. I'm not sure how many times he had seen my daughter but I think the barbeque was the one and only time he met my little boy and it was the one and only time he got to meet my aunt's new baby too. Because of divorces and remarriages, my aunts and uncles on this side of the family are actually my age so grandbabies and great grandbabies are close in age too. All three of my brothers were able to be at the barbeque too so they got to see grandpa one more time as well.
So at the time of his death, I didn't see or even know this grandpa too well but it is still so very sad to think he is no longer with us. Please be sure to always go to every one of those family gatherings whether you really want to or not. To be honest, we weren't really sure we wanted to go to the barbeque a few months ago but I'm glad we did. If we hadn't we wouldn't have gotten to see my grandpa again before he past on and he wouldn't have gotten the joy of seeing all of us one more time either. You could tell grandpa was just THRILLED to have everyone together again at the barbeque my uncle organized. He was SO giddy and happy. I think he had a smile on his face nearly the WHOLE entire time.
It is just so unbelievable that he is gone now. He seemed so alive and FULL of energy just a few months back. You just never know how long you truly have with anyone! So go hug all your loved ones and tell them you love them! Then plan a family gathering of your own! Sad to say but unfortunately it may be the last time you may see someone. Our most recent family gathering is proof it can happen. I don't think ANY of us probably thought we would never see grandpa again.