Sunday, November 7, 2010

It's 1:33 AM

And in an hour from now it will be exactly 1:33 AM again. (You know, because of the time change.)  It feels like I'm cheating time.  I like it.

I haven't had anything real to eat since Wednesday.
I've been sick.
I try to eat soup, and drink plenty of water.
I can't keep anything down or in.
And my tongue is brown. (My sister Googled 'brown tongue' but couldn't find any real reason for it.)

Jason made me a grilled cheese sandwich for dinner because it sounded good to me.
I couldn't taste it, so the fact that he burned it didn't bother me at all.
My stomach is rebelling against the cheese sandwich in a major way.
That is why I'm awake at 1:33 in the morning.

Last night we watched Forrest Gump.
Can you believe I had never seen it?
I'm probably the only person in 30 states who hadn't seen that movie.
I cried when Jenny died.
I cried even harder when Forrest stood talking to Jenny at her grave.

The conversation Forest had with Jenny reminded me of a conversation I had with my Grandpa a few days before he died.
Those who have been around a while have read this before.

Porch Lights and Saying Goodbye

Whenever I left Grandpa's house the routine was always the same:
I would give him a hug and tell him, "I love you Grandpa."
He would hug me back and say, "I love you too kid. What would I ever do without you?"
And then I would tell him he would never have to find out.
He would stand at the door, I would honk as I backed out of the driveway and he would 
flash his porch light on and off.

* * *

A few days before Grandpa died we had a conversation that was similar to that 

of the one we had whenever I left his house. 
He had been in a care center for about two months and wasn't always very lucid.
This was our conversation (maybe not word for  word):

G: "Noelle, I think I'm ready to leave this school." 

(He always called the care center a school.)
N: "Where do you want to go Grandpa?"
G: "Back to Fountain Green. I'm ready to go home." 
(Towards the end I learned that going to Fountain Green actually meant
that he was ready to die.)
G: "Noelle, I've given this a lot of thought. I want to go now.
 I even told Heavenly Father that I was ready to go back to Fountain Green. 
What do you think of that?"
N: "Grandpa, if you're ready to leave I think that's okay. 
I will miss you terribly, but I know it's time."

And then he asked what I thought everyone else would say about his going.

He wanted to know about his neighbors, and his bishop, and my aunt.
He was even worried about his mechanic. 
"Do you think the mechanic will be okay if I go back to Fountain Green?"
I reassured him that everyone would be okay. 

And until this point in our conversation I was handling things pretty well. 
But then he got me...right in the heart.

G: "Noelle, I just have one more question. What will I ever do without you? 
What if I need you and can't find you? I won't be able to call you!"
My response was simply, "Grandpa, I don't think you will need me.
 But if you do, I'm sure you'll figure out a way to contact me."
Two days later Grandpa told me he was tired and asked if he could go to sleep.

 I said yes, he closed his eyes, slipped into a coma, and then died two days after that.

I told Jason that story to explain why I was crying so much.
Bless his heart, he cried too.
I blamed my crying on being sick.
I told him he could blame his crying on my being sick too.
Are you crying?
Do you want to cry?
You can blame it on my being sick too.
But only today.


Venassa said...

Aww that's sweet. It would give me a lot of comfort to know my grandfather was ready to go whenever he does.

Ps I have never seen Forrest Gump either.

Anonymous said...

That's beautiful, Noelle. I'm not crying because I think Fountain Green is probably a beautiful place to be, but I am sad you are sick and couldn't taste your grilled cheese sandwich.

Dazee Dreamer said...

That was the sweetest thing ever. I had kind of the same kind of conversation with my grandpa. Tho he had a stroke and couldn't speak. I told him he could leave and that we would take care of grandma.

He came to me in a dream a couple of days later and told me he was going home. When I woke up, my husband told me that he had died during the night. But I already knew.

wjmom said...

Yes, I'm crying. I'm crying for the loss of the grandparents that mine used to be (so YOUNG!). And I'm crying because--even though I know that 100 years from now this mortal existence will be a distant memory for nearly all the people I know--I don't like losing them right now. And I'm crying because you are sick and so am I, and it just plain bites.

But mostly I'm crying because nobody cries alone.

I hope today is a better day for you!

-stephanie- said...

I'm crying with you.

Now you get well so we don't have to cry tomorrow.

Tiffany said...

Crying for sure. I cried when you first posted it and now again. That is so tender.

Forrest Gump is one of my faves. I'm so glad you finally saw it.

And, oh please, feel better. Sorry about your brown tongue.

A big fat hug from me.

Anonymous said...

And what about today? Can I blame it on your being sick today too? Blowing you kisses.

Anonymous said...

p.s. I like cheating time. (evil laughter)

Diana said...

what a beautiful story and an amazing relationship... thanks for sharing it

Baby Sister said...

That story always makes me question. And yes, Aaron is crying too.

Elizabeth said...

I've never seen Forest Gump all the way through. It came out while I was on my mission and I tried to watch it when I got home, but there were a few things I couldn't handle being fresh home from a mission and 18 months of no TV.

The story about your grandpa is sweet. It is sad when someone has to leave. It is good to remember and it is OK to cry. I'm glad you got to say good bye.

xo -El

P.S. I don't feel like I'm cheating at all. I FINALLY got my hour back.

Cheeseboy said...

I am forever more referring to the heaven as "Fountain Green".

I enjoyed that story. Very touching.

Cap'n Salty said...

Your relationship with your Grandpa sounds so much like the one I had with my Grandma. She passed when I was 14 and I still miss her a lot. Her husband died just a month and a half before I was born, and even though I was her 9th grandchild, everyone knew I was her favorite. She often said she considered me a personal gift from God to fill the void my Grandpa had left. She was living several states away when she died, but I knew when she did. I don't know how I knew, I just knew.

Just as a by the way: I moved my blog. I'd love it if you'd come follow me! I'm now at Turtle Droppings!

The Webb's and the boy's! said...

Thanks for making me cry :> Moments like that are priceless...Thanks for sharing. I hope you get better thinking of you- said...

Sorry, hon. Hugs and healing thoughts to you.

Joann Mannix said...

Yes. I'm crying. I miss my dad so very much. And when I hear stories like this, it makes me wonder how this world can just keep going without grief just consuming us whole. To get beyond my heartbreak when I lost my dad was a long, hard journey. I think I cried for a year, really. Probably because his death was so sudden and I wasn't ready. But these days, most of the time, when I think of him, the tears have been replaced with smiles. Life goes on just as those who leave us want it too.

I hope you're feeling better.

Meghan said...

That is a really nice story. I am glad you were able to spend so much quality time with him. It sounds like you had a really special relationship. I hope you feel better.

jayayceeblog said...

That is so sad and sweet and a wonderful memory! Thanks for sharing!!!