I was about 15 when my grandfather passed away. It was a real loss when he went as he hadn't been ill or at least not that we knew of. He was an incredible man with class, integrity and a real knack for making people feel appreciated. My grandma had passed just a year prior of cancer and the two of them were extremely close. It was the kind of marriage you see that just makes you see what love truly is.
Prior to my grandfathers passing I was fortunate to spend some time with him as a congratulations trip for passing 8th grade. It was something that my grandparents had done with all the grandkids and I was the youngest and last to get the pleasure. Since my grandmother had passed the year of the coveted 8th grade graduation, my trip was postponed. I was told by my parents that it may never happen because it would be to hard on grandpa. But as I said, my grandpa was a man of great class and he wasn't about to let me be disappointed. I flew out and spent a week with this incredible man. He taught me to waltz, we had long talks and listened to old Broadway records. He asked me questions about myself and we laughed for hours. At the end of this trip, as I was getting on the plane, my grandfather said to me, "This is the last time I will see you kiddo." I said, "No it's not grandpa I'll be back." He then said, "You will but I will be gone. "He knew then that he was not long for this world.
Within the next 3 months he passed away, after a game of tennis with his friends at the club. He leisurely strolled back to his table to sip his Manhattan and share some laughs when he sighed out loud about the loss on the court that day he folded his arms and was gone.
The family all joined for his services and it seemed like the entire town came out to pay their respects. Everyone that knew him had kind and wonderful words to share. Lots of laughter about his life and his life with Grandma, saying that we all knew they were together. At the viewing I had asked my father if I could have Grandpa's glasses. Everyone thought that was a little weird, but I wanted them .It was such a personal thing for him everyday to HAVE to wear them and they were always with him. I wanted him to always be with me.
That night after the funeral my father, step mom, sister, cousins, aunt and uncle all stayed at my grandparents home. Everyone going to different rooms except myself and my older sister, we shared a spare room with a pull out sofa bed. As we lie there talking about Grandpa and how we missed him we decided to turn off the light and call it a night. Just as I shut off the light and laid back down the door just cracked open enough to let the hallway night light come in, we heard a soft calming "goodnight girls" and we responded with "goodnight" and the door closed. Immediately my sister and I said "THAT WAS GRANDPA..." not scared but excited. We decided we better ask our family the next day to see if any of them were up and did that. Not surprisingly at all, NO ONE was up, nor did they open our door that night.
My sister and I know without a shadow of a doubt that Grandpa said goodnight that night in his sweet way of telling us he was OK and we can be too.