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Saturday, February 7, 2015

Another new normal

This was one crazy week.  Sunday we had one of the top 5 blizzards ever in Chicago, so my birthday plans were scrambled.  And Sunday night the week took a difficult turn, with news that my Grandfather was likely in his final 24 hours.  I didn't sleep much that night, waiting for the phone to ring with either news about my grandfather or that school was canceled.  At 5am the news about school being canceled came.  So I turned off my alarm and tried to get some sleep.  We had an okay day Monday, the kids enjoyed playing in the snow and we took our first ever trip to a sledding hill.  What else is there to do with powdery snow?  They had a blast and we had to bring them home for dinner before any complaints of being cold even started.

I decided to head for bed early Monday, falling asleep well before 9pm.  Around 9:30 I awoke to what I thought was my cell phone.  Only half awake, I couldn't remember where I had placed it and then it stopped ringing.  But then the house phone rang.  When I saw Dave's number, I knew what news was coming.  He let me know that Grandpa was finally in peace.  I like to envision a party up in heaven as he joined my mom and grandma, as well as his parents and brother-in-law.  Dave and I spoke briefly, both of us being weary from the past 24 hours.  I tried to go back to sleep but my mind raced.  About 10 my sister called to see how I was doing.  We both agreed the feelings were mixed, with a sadness that he's no longer there to talk to, but happy that he's no longer uncomfortable.

Sleep would be elusive for the rest of the week, as we also continue our battle with the school regarding Carolyn.  I will miss my grandfather greatly.  I am so glad we went out to Colorado this summer to give the kids more memories of their great grandfather.  I am so glad we have many items around the house that are memories of him, made by his hands.  These things will forever be treasured.  I have been looking at his picture nightly that sits in our bedroom, a picture of him "young" in my mind, blue work shirt that he seemed to always wear.  I can still picture him working in our garage, whistling as he made new folding tables, footstools, or other wood projects.  I hope we can pass on some of those skills to our children as they grow older.  I made coffee cake in honor of all the times he would stop at the Entemann's store and being us 2-3 boxes yesterday.  I am so glad to have so many memories of such a wonderful man.

We have had many times of a new normal in the past 6 months, and now we enter into another new normal.  This one with a little sadness in our hearts that will heal with time.  And during this time of sadness we'll try to remember all the wonderful memories we made with a wonderful man.  I'll never forget how he seemed to constantly tell us how terrible the world has become, how things were better when he was a kid.  As I get older I wonder if that is what everyone says.  It does seem that a lot of our "improvements" only seem to make life more difficult.  We're all weathering this well though, it's hard to remain sad for too long when someone lives for nearly 97 years.  What an amazing life he lived.  I wish I could have been up in heaven with him to see the party they had in his honor.  He will be missed here and I look forward to seeing him again (although hopefully not for many years).

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