Tuesday, March 24, 2015

It's time for saying Goodbye...

The house a few summers back before Gma's stroke. Their yard always
looked like something out of Sunset Magazine.
The last few days the Muppets' song "Saying Goodbye" has run through my mind. It typically does when someone close to me leaves for other parts of the world. This weekend we moved my Grandfather out of his home of over 40 years down to my uncle's house in Oregon. Okay, well, we packed up his house and said goodbye and he flew to Oregon with my uncle.

It was a very quick up and back for us. While my grandfather for the last year or so had been packing things and giving them to family, his health took a very quick turn and we needed to move quickly. In the last 4-6 months things began to get away from him, he wasn't able to remember basic tasks. My uncle and cousin had been concerned, but it wasn't until my cousin's last visit and then my dad and my last visit that the family realized we needed to move NOW. So my uncle flew up and we all headed to gpa's house to help him.

Packing up a person's life is not an easy task. Splitting them up between 3 sons and 2 granddaughters went easier than we thought, but it was just getting all of the stuff packed up (and, first, found!) that was hard. So many memories in one spot - not just the physical ones we held, but the ones those items and the walls around us brought up. We had a lot of laughs, and it was just good to have some fun one last time. The last time we were all together was when my grandmother passed, so while seeing Gpa overwhelmed was difficult we were still in a much happier frame of mind this time around.

Saturday we took a break from packing up and had some of the family friends over. The Gallaghers have been friends with my grandparents since before I was born. Jim and Karen help every year with Iditarod, and Karen's mom Pete was friends with my grandmother forEVER. Jim and Karen's daughter Christine grew up with my cousin and she would baby sit me on occasion. They're more family than just friends. We also had the Frolichs over - they are buying the house from my grandfather. They live across the street and Mathieu was my first best friend. We grew up together - even after my family moved to Kenai, every summer I was up with my grandparents and we spent every waking hour causing chaos in the neighborhood. I am so happy that the house is going to someone we know and that I know will treasure it for what it is!

The "Framily" together at the house one last time.
Sunday we tried to get Gpa to go to church, but the emotions of the weekend took their tole and he decided to stay home. Mom, Dad and I went to Gpa's church anyway as we'd given them the heads up that Gpa was leaving and they had things for us to give him. Joel Engle is one of the pastors at Changepoint and we've known him pretty much since my parents have been Christians - he used to be a Christian singer who toured the country doing ministry, and now he's pastoring. It's a small world. We met him when he was still starting out and so I was excited to get to hear him preach this weekend! The message was good, and then we headed out for one last family meal at Texas Roadhouse before we all went our separate ways.

Now we're back home and I'm going through the boxes of the memories I collected. 4 boxes of photo albums with memories that go back generations, more Iditarod memories, the different knick knacks that lined the shelves... a few cookbooks... I just have to find a way to properly display or store them all.

Dad called down to Gpa tonight, and he's doing well. Dad says he sounds better than he has in months. I think this change is what Gpa needed, but man... it feels weird for the rest of us.

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