Storybook Love & A Bittersweet Goodbye

Yesterday I planned on publishing a post about this sweet man on the 2-year anniversary of his passing.

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Little did I know that my sweet grandfather and God had already made big plans for that day. Plans to reunite him with the love of his life, my grandmother.

Yesterday I awoke to the news that she had passed away a few hours earlier. On the same morning my grandfather passed away two years ago. My initial reaction? Shock. Then a slight smile hit my face as the tears welled in my eyes… “They’re like the real life version of The Notebook” I told my mom. They truly had a once-in-a-lifetime love, the kind you hear about it fairy tales and story books.

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I’ve found myself smiling often in the past 34 hours as I think about him greeting her at the gates with a smile and a kiss, then gently guiding her into His kingdom with his hand firmly and sweetly placed on the small of her back. I can just see the grin on his face and the pride in his voice as he introduces her to the many friends I’m sure he’s made.

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I can just see the joy and relief on her face as she is once again on the arm of the most handsome, caring and generous man she’d ever known. I know she has been ready for this since August 6, 2012… we weren’t ready for it, but she was. They’d made so many moves together, and I know she wished she could have accompanied him on the last move he made. Of all the homes they’ve had together, they now get to share their most splendid home for the rest of eternity. A home free from pain, and a home where I imagine they can re-live memories from their lifetime together – memories that had temporarily been stolen from her by Alzheimer’s.

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It’s hard to have another loss so painful on a day already full of that empty longing feeling, but I don’t think it should have been any other way. They were each other’s world, so there is no better day for them to share.

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As I try to wrap my mind around the fact that she really is gone, that I won’t get to see her in 8 days like we had planned, that she won’t get to see her great-grandbaby again, I just keep forcing myself to focus on all the times I was blessed to share with her.

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Graduations, Thanksgivings, Christmases, etc. The days that weren’t holidays, but were celebrations nonetheless because we were all together. The birthday trips to the mall, where even at that young age, I knew the real gift wasn’t in the bags we carried home. The gift was in the time spent, the meal we shared, and the people-watching while we ate our ice cream.

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I am so comforted by the knowledge that not only is she no longer hurting, but that I did get to see her with Peanut. I got to see her light up when she met that sweet baby of mine. I got to know that although she struggled to remember many things, she held onto her great-granddaughter in her sweet embattled mind. That she pointed out her photo to those who entered her room. Those are blessings I’ll always be thankful for.

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Grandma, thank you for the years of love, laughter, and life-lessons. Thank you for the family-famous and always appreciated “grandma scratches”. Thank you for the constant love and continual support. Thank you for sharing the stories of our family and stories of you the love you shared with Grandpa. IMG_2555_WEBGrandpa, now that you’ve got your girl again, take care of her like always. You two kids have fun up there, keep watching out over our family, and we’ll see you again someday. I love you both.

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5 thoughts on “Storybook Love & A Bittersweet Goodbye

  1. Oh my goodness, Brooke! You are truly an amazing, gifted young lady. What a tribute to your grandparents. I know they are so very proud of you! The pictures you posted spoke of the love you shared and they shared with each other. I’m so sorry for your family’s loss but know that they are rejoicing in heaven. Your dad looks so very much like your grandfather. My love to all!

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    • Carol, I think rejoicing is the perfect word. It’s been a long two years for them both, but the wait is finally over! I was thinking earlier how much I see dad in so many of those photos too.. Lucky guy!

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  2. What a fabulous tribute to both of them Brooke and a lovely testament of their love for each other and family. I am sorry for the loss but with you in praising God for a long awaited reunion.
    Love you
    Susan

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