I know, I know....I have gone and left the blogging world for quite some time! There has been so much going on in our world that I need to catch up on, but for now I need to post a few sentiments and memories.
Just recently my Grampa Stradling took a turn for the worse. It was crazy because a matter of months ago he was walking around and doing fine. Christmas Eve has always been celebrated at his home, and I have posted about it before, but this year he was so bad he pretty much had to be carried in to the party. It was about as sad as it could be. I felt awful knowing that this party was going to wipe him out, but so grateful that we were doing it anyway because it was probably going to be his last. Most of the family was able to come and I am so glad they did!
Hospice got called in during this month, and that is never ever a good sign. Laura (thats my grampa's wife) asked the nurse on the 11th if she could tell if we had a few months or weeks or what, and she gave grampa one month. By that friday he was so much worse and Laura said to the nurse, "he's not going to last a month is he?" And she shook her head no. I was able to visit with Grampa that day. Just me and him. One on one, no one else. He was kinda out of it, but at the same time he was able to talk to me and knew I was the one with him. I got to tell him a few things I wanted to say and before I left I told him I loved him and hugged him, and he said he loved me too. As I walked out of the room I had a break down. It is so hard to see someone you love so much go from being strong, tough, and healthy, to tired, weak, and barely there. On Sunday, January 17th he passed away. It was so so so sad. I had my moments of tears, but mostly I felt at peace. I had my time. I got to talk to him and I knew he was in a better place.
I know that there were many people waiting to greet him on the other side. My granma, his mom and sister, his daughter that passed away exactly one year before him, and many others. Knowing the reunion that he probably has been having makes me so happy for him.
I just want to remember a few things about him:
* he was called, grampa, gramps, and banca
* he had candy all the time, but the good stuff was in what he called "the stash" and that was in the top of his closet....if we were lucky we got some of that, if we were naughty we stole some of that
* he left behing a pretty impressive legacy....every grandchild that has been married has been married in the temple, and all of the grandsons old enough to serve a mission have either served or are serving now
* he was a rancher, so swearing came pretty naturally, but a lot of the time they didn't sound like swear words....just part of his regular speech
* when he came to visit anyone he NEVER would stay long, but if you would visit him he would ask you why you were running off so soon when you left
* he had no backside. By that I mean, he had no butt. And fortunately or unfortunately depending on how you look at it, many of us have inherited that
* he was kinda shy. He always sat in the back row at church and it was known that you don't ask him to pray or talk in church. Its not that he didn't have a testimony, because he really did, he just did not like any attention focused on him
* he was extremely tough. Even those last few days of life. He was breathing really hard but his respiration was fine, the nurse finally figured it out and said that he had underlying pain that was making him hurt but he didn't even realize it and that was causing the labored breathing noise. So strong and tough....
There are so many more things that could be said, but I would go on forever. Grampa will always be loved and always remembered. I am so grateful to the example he set.