Saturday, December 30, 2006

The Waiting

December 30, 2006

It is the vigil you keep as you wait for death. The family alternates between moments of silence and longer moments of storytelling. The memories fly fast, son (Uncle Rich) and grandsons (Randy and Greg) adding different dimensions to the stories, fleshing them out. Grandpa mostly sleeps, but awakens every now and then at some of the louder laughter, chuckling himself and falling back asleep with a smile. Sometimes he wakes and his eyes search, unfocused but still so blue. He sees you and holds out a hand, smiling. His son holds a cup of steaming coffee to his father's lips, and the memory of Grandpa and his nightly coffee mixes with the reality of this last coffee held with such love to these old lips. It is almost too much to bear. When you kiss him goodbye and brush the lush white hair from his forehead, you think, "This is the last time."

Still, there is tomorrow. He is waiting now--we all are. At some perfect moment, the time will come and he will go peacefully with a smile. And it will feel as if the whole world should stop in memory of this one monumental man.

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