He was 94 years old. He’d been on hospice for over a year and a half. During that time, he broke his hip and got it fixed – with congestive heart failure – and lived several more months. He wasn’t bed ridden until the last ten or so days.
The last thing I remember of him, in August when we went to Idaho, was his reciting poetry to me. He love poetry and wrote it just a bit too. Very musical.
His work was with computers. Yup. You read me right. Starting at the end of 1941, a few months in Washington DC with some accounting machines, then at the unemployment office in Oregon. They whys of that is its own story, that I’m not sure we’re fully aware of. He went on though, to work at the INL Research Center with the Atomic Energy Commission. I’m not sure of any other languages he used, but I know he knew how to program in KOBOL. Probably BASIC too. Other than the stint at INL, he mostly worked at financial institutions. As soon as it became reasonable for a person to own their own computer, he had one. He was even on Facebook.
So yes. I take a lot from that side of the family. Writing, music, computers. A lot, but not everything. At least I hope. Our family has been in a healing cycle for three generations, turning away from abuse. This means it wasn’t fully healed when my Grandad was a parent, though he was a better parent than what he’d had. And I had an even better parent than that.
I blame the Gospel for lifting us up to a gentler parenthood.
My mom, his daughter, took care of him. In his last few months, he lived with her. The hospice nurses were very impressed with the care she showed him. I hope she knows now, for sure, for real, how strong she is.
Well, okay I can because I want to spend time with my parents rather than writing this book. Its first draft is finished, and I am rewriting now. And it is due very, very soon. This is kind of like being pregnant. At first, the symptoms don’t show much. But towards the end, the symptoms start to overcome every aspect of living.
At least I can have a book pregnancy. I’m thankful for that.