Monday, October 21, 2013

Our Shipp Sailed

It's been a whirlwind of emotions with Grandpa Shipp being gone.  He turned 90 years old this summer and was in great shape.  On our way back from Bear Lake, we stopped in to see Grandma and Grandpa.  The front door was unlocked as it always is, so we quietly knocked on the door indicating our intent to open the door.  Charley the dog didn't bark, and my family walked in.  Both Grandma and Grandpa were asleep in their recliners.  It made my heart skip a beat for a minute because they didn't wake immediately.  We made a little bit of noise, and they finally woke.  Grandpa asked me to make him some sausage and toast.  I gladly did.  Grandpa counted out dollar coins for the kids, up to their age, plus one to grow on.  I don't think I'll ever forget his hands touching the kids' palms while placing each coin carefully in their little hands.  We spent a half hour and then headed home.  It was a tough visit.  They seemed to be getting tired.  Grandpa seemed to be getting worse.  That was around August 20th.  A week later, we started discussing moving both of them down to Salt Lake to a care center.  So, reluctantly, they came down.  My mom said that as Grandpa was pulling away from his house he would say, "Goodbye house, goodbye USU, goodbye Smiths..."  They arrived in Sandy on Saturday August 31.  My mom picked out a beautiful care facility so that they could enjoy their time and each other while they were cared for 24 hours a day.  Plus, what a blessing it would be to be able to have them close and be able to visit often.

 Grandpa was irritable and uncomfortable, we just assumed that maybe he was overwhelmed.  Many times during the day, he would say that there were too many people in the room (even when it was just grandma, my mom, and him).  I think at that time, we didn't realize how close he was to slipping through the veil.  John and I took the kids over for just a minute on Sunday to check in.  Grandpa sat in his chair, still uncomfortable and asking to go to the hospital.  We waited most of the day Sunday to get a doctor in the room to help comfort him.  We didn't visit Monday because we didn't want to overwhelm him.  Tuesday, first thing, I got the itch to stop in and see them with Jack and Madden before Jack went to school.  I arrived at about 9:30.  Casey was in sad grandma's room sitting with her, holding her hand, and talking to her.  Once Casey saw me, she excused herself and started to head out.  I asked her if everything was okay and she just cried.  Casey felt compelled to go first thing in the morning and ended up staying for a few hours!  Grandpa was asleep, on Morphine when I arrived.  I talked to Grandpa, though he was asleep.  I kissed him and hugged him, told him that I loved him.  Then I moved in to Grandma's room.  She was just sad.  During the next few hours, my mom came, Randy, Cindy and Kristy, and Kelly stopped by.  I left and took Jack to school, but felt extremely impressed that I should go back.  So, I brought Madden back.  Just before we said goodbye to Randy and my cousins, I was looking into grandpa and noticed that he seemed to be more translucent and blue than I had thought he had been.  I pointed it out and everybody went in to check on him.  He was still breathing and other than color, nothing seemed to change.  They left.  My mom, Madden, and I went into Grandma's room and talked to her.  She had been laying on her bed all morning- hadn't moved from her fetal position on the bed.  I thought it was odd that just out of the blue, she said that she needed to go to the bathroom and then she wanted to go talk to grandpa.  Madden and my mom walked her to the bathroom and I stepped out to take a phone call. When I came back in to their room, Madden and my mom had just taken grandma to grandpa's bedside. Grandma said, "I love you, John."  She kissed her two fingers and placed them on his lips.  Grandpa died immediately after her sweet, simple goodbye.  It was an extremely sad moment, but it was incredibly sweet!! How grateful I was to be there to witness such a beautiful thing.  More importantly, I am go grateful to have been a part of his life and to have known him.  I love Grandma and Grandpa Shipp-- they have made a tremendous impact on my life.  Grandpa, you will never be forgotten.  Til we meet again...


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