Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Missing you already


My Grandpa John "Jack" Bierbaum entered Hospice care yesterday. We took the girls to say good-bye to him yesterday. He is not likely to see another Monday again. His 91st Birthday is on Aug 31st. The girls and I have been visiting Grandpa in the nursing home most every Thursday for the past 6 months or so. Grandma still lives in their home but spends about 8 hours by his side every day. They have been married for 65 years and she says that's just what you do for your husband. She says that she has no doubt that he would do the same for her if the tables were turned. She kept him at home as long as she could after he could no longer walk. She is the most selfless person I know. I have loved seeing the bond they have, my whole life. Grandma Ruth has been a wonderful example to me of devotion and unconditional love.

The things I will remember most about Grandpa is that though he is a very quiet man, when he does speak it's usually to tell a joke or add an important piece of the conversation that's missing. They both grew up on farms in Southern MN and lived on her family farm during the early years of their marriage. Grandpa likes to tell the story of how he first me Grandma, saying he picked her up on the side of the road. See, he knew her brother Paul, and he was driving by them with his date on the way to a dance when he saw Paul and Ruth on the side of the road with car troubles. Grandpa was bout 25 and she about 18 I think. She was married at 19 and the rest is history.

When I lived with them in GA for the summer after my Mom died, I remember loving to go with Grandpa to the donut shop early in the morning. It seems to me he would go most every day and sit with the guys and have a coffee and donut. I remember hopping into his truck and that there were always lemon drops (his favorite) in the glove compartment. Oh and if Grandma and I made egg salad sandwiches for lunch and a piece of shell fell in, she would say "that's ok, Grandpa likes it crunchy." They lived in GA most of my growing up, Grandpa ran his own business selling farm machinery, not retiring until his 70's. He was a tall, very strong man and always had the darkest "farmer" tan.

I love you Grandpa!


grandmarockton said...

Everyone should see what the 65 years together brings, God bless your family at this time. The girls have grown by your letting them visit Grandpa. peace GR

Stacy said...

What a sweet, sweet story about your Grandpa and your Grandma. So sorry to hear that his time in near. Blessings.

little pumpkin grace said...

Oh, Angel, my heart goes to your family and especially to your Grandma. Thank you for sharing the beautiful story of his life. What an amazing couple!
My grandpa passed away after fighting Alzheimer's disease for 15 years. My grandma was by his side every step of the way, selflessly devoting her life to taking care of him. She always said the same thing as yours, "I know he would do the same for me".
Prayers all around, Jessica

TaDa! Creations said...

Thanks ladies. He truly was/is a remarkable man. He has also had Parkinson's for years, but not terribly bad. I really noticed him start to decline once they retired and moved back to MN. Some men are just born to work I think. I am so thankful to have still had a Grandpa at 33 and that my girls could know him too. Thank you for the prayers.


Kori said...

HUGS hun- Such wonderful memories- I had a grandma ruth too and reading your story brought back so many memories!

quiltmom said...

Your grandfather's journey may nearly be over but he will live on in you and your family's collective memories. My grandmother walks with me every day of my life and I am 51 years old. She has been gone for nearly 5 years. Your grandfather sounds like a wonderful man and your gran will need your support and love even more in the days ahead. I can tell you have made many treasured memories and enjoyed many wonderful times together. May you continue to comfort and support one another during this leg of the journey.
Regards from a Western Canadian quilter

jona said...

65 years. Wow. What a wonderful legacy! He sounds like a terrific grandpa.

I lost my grandpa 2 years ago. He was 92 and it was still too soon for me.