Monday, June 14, 2010

Saying Goodbye

The Lord has a plan for all of us, and sometimes I question why things happen when they do. My question was answered this past week as to why I needed to be in Idaho when I was.

Last Tuesday my Grandpa Bateman took a turn for the worst. His doctor came over to the house and gave him a physical and found that Grandpa had an infection. There were 2 options: Take him to the hospital where they will poke and pry him, or let him be comfortable at home. After much thought and prayer my Mom and her siblings decided that it would be best to make him comfortable at home. That night my cousin Issac, who happened to be in town for a class he was taking at BSU, gave my Grandpa one of the most powerful and beautiful blessings I have ever witnessed. My grandparents room was lit by a dim lamp, and we all watched as my cousin and Dad gave a blessing of release to my suffering Grandpa. It felt like there were 50 people in the room, and we could feel the love that Heavenly Father had for my Grandpa. After many tearful kisses and goodbyes, we thought my Grandpa would not make it through the night.

My Grandfather fought for the next 6 days. He did really well in the mornings and would eat a yogurt and drink a lot of water, and then he would sleep the rest of the day and night. We each took turns going in and talking to my Grandpa and holding his hand. I told him to give Preslie a huge hug from us, and to always remember that we loved him. He would open his eyes a few times and would try to talk to us. I sang him hymns and prayed that the Lord would let him pass through his suffering. My Grandma went in a few times to sit with him and hold his hand. She kept saying. "We've had a good life. We have good children, grand children, and great- grandchildren. We have been blessed."

My Aunt Pam arrived Sunday night where She and my Mom stayed up all night with Grandpa. I tried to stay up as long as I could, and finally went to sleep around 3am. Before going to sleep I gave Grandpa a hug and felt a huge rush of emotion come over me. I then told my Mom that I could feel that it was close, and that his time was almost done. I woke up Monday morning and immediately went downstairs. The minute I saw Grandpa I knew it would be only a matter of hours before he would pass. His breathing had become very labored and his coloring was not good. I called Chris and told him that he was almost gone. A few minutes later my Grandpa's hospice nurse Melissa arrived. She has helped my Grandpa for the past 1 1/2 years twice a week to shower. She was very quiet when she arrived, when she usually was very upbeat and cheerful. She went into see Grandpa and then poked her head out and asked where Abby(family black lab dog) was. Mikelle(sister) opened the laundry room door and Abby was standing in there. She would not come out. Melissa said that there are too many people here. Melissa went over and gave Grandma a kiss and then my Mom helped her into the bathroom. Pam was out in the family room holding Arista in the chair, and I watched Melissa begin to give my Grandpa a shave. As she started shaving him I noticed that he stopped breathing. I called to Pam and my Mom to come here, because I thought something was happening. It felt really chaotic in the house, and I kept walking in and out motioning to my Aunt and calling to my Mom. My Mom came into the room, looked and Grandpa and said that he was still breathing and was alive. He then took his last breath. Then my mom said "See." and walked into the bathroom to help Grandma. I yelled for my Mom and we watched as Melissa checked for a pulse. He was gone. Grandpa was no longer in pain. His parents, brothers, and sisters, etc. were all there to greet him. I just know it. I know Preslie was there, and that I was given a rare opportunity to be close to her through this opportunity.

The next few hours were filled with many tears. My Uncle Richard arrived and then shortly after we watched as they took my Grandfather away. At that moment we knew that he would not be back. Richard, Pam, My Mom and Grandma all sat and started planning out the funeral arraignments. Thursday they all left to go down to Utah, and Friday the rest of us went down.

Our family with the exception of my Mom who was with her sisters, went to our favorite place in Utah Litza's. They have the best pizza there. Then half of us went to sleep at our Grandmother Penny's house, and the other half at my Great-Grandmother Beth's house. We were all exhausted from the drive and went to bed. My Dad and I woke up at 4am, got ready and then walked down to the Salt Lake City temple. We went through the 6am session together. Despite the early morning sleepiness, I will NEVER forget the awe and wonder I felt while being in there. The temple is beautiful. It was neat to think that my Grandparents had been sealed there over 63 years before.

After attending the temple we got everyone ready and headed to the most beautiful church building. My Grandpa was able to have his funeral in his home ward, Garden Park. The building use to be a mansion many many years ago. It has the most beautiful landscape and unique qualities that other churches do not have. Like an elevator! My aunt Deb played beautiful piano music during the viewing, and I was able to see all my extended family that I had not seen in many many years. Grandpa looked so peaceful and beautiful. My Uncle Stanley gave a beautiful family prayer and then each family went up and said goodbye. After our goodbyes we watched as they closed the casket and wheeled it into the chapel, where we followed close behind.

My family gave a beautiful service for my Grandpa filled with memories, music, testimonies, and tears. My Uncle and his sons sang "Nearer my God to thee." The great-grand kids sang "Jesus Wants me for a Sunbeam", "Little Purple Pansies", and then my cousins and Aunt sang "I know that my Redeemer lives." My Aunt Deb played a beautiful piano arraignment of "How great thou art." My cousins Shawn, Issac, Melyssa, spoke as well as my Uncle Garth, Mom and Brother. They each talked about the Gardener that my Grandpa was, and how much he loved to tend to it. It was a perfect service and I know that he was pleased.

After the service we all met over at the cemetery where they brought out the casket and then my Uncle Richard dedicated the grave. Arista had a complete meltdown so I was not able to hear the prayer, but I heard it was beautiful. The weather was really really cold, and rainy throughout the day but while we were at the cemetery there wasn't a drop of rain.

After the dedication we all went back to the church for a yummy luncheon. It was nice to reminisce about Grandpa and to visit with family. After our goodbyes we were all exhausted. We headed back to Beth's place, changed and then went out to eat dinner. After dinner we went straight to bed.

Sunday morning we woke up, packed, cleaned and then went to breakfast at another one of our favorite places: Coachman's. We met my Grandpa Bob there. It was nice to visit and to get pictures of him with Arista. After breakfast we went and picked up my Moms at her sister Pam's house. We stayed there and visited with family and then headed home. It was a long drive home, but Arista did really well. I am so grateful I was able to attend Grandpa's funeral, and for being able to be with him during his final days. I know that this opportunity is one I will cherish forever. I will always remember and love my Grandpa.

Here are some of my favorite memories of my Grandpa...

* Sitting on Grandpa's lap while we both chewed gum and blew bubbles.
* Wanting Grandpa to hold me after we were sealed in the Boise temple.
* Grandpa calling us "Gerdie"
* "When I was a little girl..."
* Grandpa threatening to cut off my tongue, after I stuck it out at him.
* Grandpa driving us to the grocery store.
* Grandpa mixing all kinds of cereal for breakfast, and eating it out of a mixing bowl.
* Grandpa and Grandma visiting.
* Laying on the guest bed after Grandpa sprayed it all over with bug spray.
* Grandpa and Dad digging up the patio to find a dead cat.
* "Oh for laaaand sakes"
* Grandpa fixing my CTR ring that went down the garbage disposal.
* Grandpa's morning exercises in bed.
* Grandpa's love for Dogs and Cats.
* Grandpa's clap.
* Going over to their house weekly.
* Going to the temple with Grandma and Grandpa.

I love my Grandpa so much and am so grateful for the life he lived, and for the legacy he has left. He fought till the very end, and is a true example of strength. We will forever remember and miss him. We know that he is in a much happier place, enjoying heavens dogs and gardens.

My Mom read this poem by Edgar A. Guest, my Grandpa's favorite poet. It fits my Grandpa perfectly.

In the Garden

I sometimes get weary of people, and weary of being polite;
I sometimes grow tired of the dull man, and sometimes am bored by the bright.
And then when my nerves are a-tingle I walk in the yard that is ours,
and I thank the good Lord for the comfort of songbirds and blue skies and flowers.

I never grow tired of the sparrows which circle about overhead;
I never grow weary of robines--there is nothing about them I dread.
I smile when I see them returning, I sigh when at last they depart,
And perhaps it's because they are never vindictive, or petty, or smart.

And the trees don't expect to be talked to. I can lie there and dream in the shade,
And not have to answer to some dreary question that's made.
So I often slip into my garden when I'm weary of hearing things said,
And thank the good Lord for my roses and trees and the birds overhead.


Stephanie said...

What is it about Grandparents that can bring us the greatest joy but also the greatest sorrow? I'm so so sorry for your loss but I'm glad you could be there and so glad that he and Preslie are together now. How comforting that must be to you!

Rylie said...


Beautiful post and I am glad you were able to visit with your Grandpa before he passed away.



McGinnis Family said...

Thanks for sharing such a tender, sweet, special experience. It brought tears to my eyes and reminded me very much of the experience I had with my Grandma Jeppesen. I'm glad you were able to be there and experience that! your hair darker now with highlights? That picture is such a cute one of you and ARista!!!!

Preston and Keri said...

It was a very beautiful post! Thanks for sharing your experience of the moments before he passed. You wouldn't think I had any tears left since Saturday but you proved me wrong! =)
It was great to see you as well as all of the family.
It really was a beautiful day! Grandpa will definitely be missed!

April said...

Oh Rylie that is so sad and so sweet! Made me cry. I am so sorry about your Grandpa, he seemed like a wonderful man. So glad you were able to be with him. THinking of you. XO

Tim and Angela Johnson said...

I am missing you so much, but what a blessing to be able to be with your grandpa. Arista looks beautiful and so do you!

Aubreydoll said...

I'm so sorry that your grandpa passed away. It turned out to be a blessing that you left to go stay with your family sooner than expected so you and Arista were able to spend some time with him. It sounds like it was a beautiful service, too.

Anonymous said...

Rylie, I'm sorry for your loss. I continue to be grateful for the Lord's plan of salvation and the blessings of peace, hope, and resurrection that it offers us.
Hugs to you.

Lisa Gottlieb-Kinnaird

Katie said...

That was a beautiful tribute to a what sounds like a wonderful man. Grandpas are the best!