His last words to me.
“I love you too…”
It was his muffled response to my “I love you, Grampa!” I kissed his temple and brushed his hair back over his forehead. I was saying goodbye for the day, a short visit. But an important visit.
The next day his body fell into a deep sleep, his body fighting for the next 72 hours. All the effort his body could give … it was focusing on his heart beat and his breathing. He was with us for a few more days… but he never awoke again.
Sitting next to him, off and on for several days, singing “Amazing Grace”… praying for him… hoping his last breath would be peaceful… sharing fond memories… laughing to him as I recalled funny stories… hoping my meager efforts could make his last few days as comfortable as possible.
Family came and went… we laughed, we cried, we loved him.
We were ready to say our “goodbye” and longed for him to be in a better place.
And in his last minutes, when his breating was long and labored, it was still peaceful. He took a breath… and then there wasn’t another breath.
We gathered ’round and cried a bit. We said “Thank you, Jesus!” And eventually we resumed laughing. (Some might think this is inappropriate… but that’s how we handle this thing we call “life”.)
More than anything… we are happy he is in a better place.