My Dad called this evening to let me know my grandfather passed away this morning.
In February 2010, I went to Paducah, Kentucky to visit my father and grandfather. We went to eat at one of my Grandfather's favorite restaurants (it has crab legs on the buffet), and I took a picture of us. On the left is my grandfather, Archie Swearingen. (I called him Poppy when I was a kid. I'm not sure why.) Then it's my Dad, my Uncle Denny, my Aunt Diane (Dad's sister), and me.
My grandfather had been sick for a while. Several months ago he was moved out of his assisted living facility into a nursing home. For the past month, he'd been in the hospital. A couple weeks ago, my Dad called to tell me that the doctor's said he had about six months left. Then this evening, my Dad called to tell me my Grandfather died this morning.
While his death wasn't a shock, it was unexpected. When Dad called a few weeks ago, I planned to fly out there yesterday to begin my vacation, but instead I had to push back my vacation a day and finish up things at work. When I told my Dad I wasn't going to be able to make it, but that I was planning on coming in October, there wasn't any concern.
I'm not quite sure how to feel. I'm not sad. I didn't know him very well. For many years, I didn't have any contact with my father or grandfather. But in the past 2-3 years, I've been trying to rebuild my relationship with my Dad. I've been to visit him twice, and was able to spend some time with my grandfather during those times. He talked about my grandmother Doris, his work (he was an engineer), and some of his travels (his work took him around the world). It was nice. I wish I'd had more time to get to know him better.