My Grandpa Ford Is Dying

Tears want to burst forth and fill my eyes as I write the title to this blog post.

It’s true.

A couple days ago I found out that my Grandpa Ford had a stroke and is now in the process of leaving this earth.

I talked to him on Facetime this last Sunday and he told me, like he has many times before, how proud he was of me and of my family.

This is a picture of him taken just a week or 2 ago (he turned 100 in February).

I told him I loved him and that I’d call him ‘next week’.

He told me he’d appreciate that.

We didn’t get that next call in.

That’s ok though because we got a lot in over our overlapping lives together on this earth.

I remember back in 2001, I was preparing to leave for 2 years to serve a church mission and He got my mom and I together to tell us he had prostate cancer.

For 2 years I prayed that he would be alive when I got home from Taiwan so I could have just a bit more time with him.

That prayer was answered with 19 more years of treasured experiences with him – not just for me, but my wife and children as well.

I’m so thankful my kids got to know this wonderful man.

My dad left when I was 8 years old and in many ways, my grandfather helped to fill the void left by my father.

Grandpa was there for the father and son’s camp outs.

He was there to remind me that I could do much better with the choices I was making as a teenager.

He was there to help us get wood and/or wood pellets for our stove to keep our family warm through the Idaho winters.

He was there to speak at the ceremony for my Eagle scout award.

One day he was there in my driveway with a new car he had purchased to help me get to and from college classes on safer wheels.

He was there with my grandma every Sunday in church.

He was there to help my mom through her youth as she did her best to make her way in life with unique setbacks and challenges.

He was there for her through her first divorce and he was there for her and her 2 little kids when my dad left our family…

He was there to send me off on my mission as both of us cried like babies…

He was there every Sunday in his chair, for hugs and laughs and fun conversations in his Idaho farm house, providing a rock solid fixture and foundation for my mind, heart and soul for 40 years.

I could go on, and on and on.

In short, he was there,

…………..he was there,

…………………………he was there.

This is a picture my Uncle Michael sent of his favorite reading and music listening spot, just as he left it, before he had his stroke.

A picture that says, like words never could, yes he was there, but no longer is.

And that is why our hearts hurt, and the tears flow and the sadness overcomes, all the while mixing and colliding with so many memories and emotions of happiness that have filled a lifetime.

As the pillars of my life who have brought me into this world and showed me breathtaking examples of how to live, continue to leave, I find myself struck with understandable grief and sadness.

But inside the sadness I also find an overwhelming sense of gratitude.

I’m so thankful for what they taught me through the lives they lived.

My grandpa taught me to be there for those who need me to be there.

As I looked at my to be list this morning and realized that I no longer will have the chance to try to be a great grandson,

I realized that maybe my work to try and be a great grandson is really just beginning.

Now that you’re gone Grandpa, there is a void in the world and shoes to be filled and people to be there for that you won’t be here to help.

I’m terrified that I’ll never be able to live up to the example you left for me to follow but I will do my best.

I love you grandpa.

Thank you for the gift of your life.

Godspeed.

Your grandson,

Paul

*As I was just about finished with this post, I got the text from my mom that my grandpa passed away at 5:30 this morning.

 

Thanks for stopping by and whatever you do, always go for your dreams,

Paul Hutchings

Paul Hutchings

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44 thoughts on “My Grandpa Ford Is Dying”

  1. Oh Paul, I’m so sorry for your loss. Parents are always hard to lose no matter what generation they served that role in. Praying for you and your family. He was lucky to have you as his grandson!

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  2. Dear Paul and family I’m so sorry for your loss and you all will be in my continued prayers and thoughts. I too like many have come to know your Grand Dad and that special Love you Paul brought to life through your stories of your special relationship that grew over the years. That Love can only grow and will be kept alive through the many memeories and Joys of your relationship. Thank you Paul for sharing your Grand Dad with us all through these years and until you meet your Grand Dad again keep sharing his and your love and strength. God bless you brother

    Thomas Clark

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  3. Paul, I’m so sorry for your loss. I share much of the void that you feel as well. Your grandfather was one of the best man I’ve ever known. I love him. I cherish the times that we enjoyed together.

    You wrote this so well. And you are so right when you say “he was there“. He was there for so many of us. I know what can fill our void, the emptiness and sorrow that we feel now is to think of the happiness, in the joy and the reuniting that is going on where he is right now. It makes me smile to know how happy he must be.

    Heaven has you Ford, but your spirit will always be felt with those of us here. I miss you dear friend.

    Reply
    • I know he valued your friendship greatly Brady. The birhtday party you organized for him was such a gift to our entire family and will be one of our treasured memories for years to come.

      Thank you so much for your words, friendship and love.

      Reply
  4. Hi Paul, my heart and my condolences go out to you and your family. Thinking of gratitude I’m thankful that you got a chance to know him in such a great way in your shares of his life lessons have touched me in many ways I love you and my prayers are with you

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  5. Your Grandpa Ford must be so so proud of who you’ve become, Paul. What an incredible tribute you’ve written here. On behalf of Melissa, Josh, Olivia and Tanner, our deepest condolences to you and your family. On this planet, Paul, you’re one of the best family men I know. Your lessons have inspired me to be a better father, husband, son and grandson. Thank you for that. 🙂

    Reply
    • Hey Kevin… I sure hope that’s the case.. I’ve got a lot of work to do but really want to live a life he can be proud of.

      Thank you so much the well wishes from your beautiful family.

      I so appreciate you guys.

      And thank you so much for all your praise! although I feel it deserves to bounce right of me and back to YOU!

      Seriously, you have really been an inspirational father for me to look to as well.

      Us dads got to stick together right? 🙂

      Reply
  6. So sorry to hear about your Grandad Paul, There is nothing worse than losing a close loved one 🙁

    A lovely man he was and very proud of you I am sure.

    Deepest Condolences Paul

    Sotiris

    Reply
  7. Paul, I’m so, so sorry to learn about your Grandpa. Through your words I got to feel like I’d met him. I got to feel how you love him. Even though you’ve now lost him, thank God for all your precious memories. They will be yours forever. May that dear, sweet man truly Rest In Peace.

    Reply
    • Thank you Hyacinth. It was such a blessing to be able to have him in my life and to be able to share him with great people like you.

      Thank you so much for your beautiful words.

      You’re a dear friend.

      Reply
  8. Paul, want to hear something freaky?

    I’m standing here at my computer and something inside my head told me to go to your website… I haven’t visited your blog in years! And wouldn’t you know… I see your latest post.

    I remember all the many times (over the years) you sharing how much your grandpa has influenced your life. I’m so sorry you have to go through this pain. I’m so grateful we have the knowledge we do and that we know he is in a glorious place right now.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you, your mom, and the rest of your family. 🙂

    Reply
    • Wow… That IS crazy Michelle!

      Thank you so much for sharing that with me. Must have been a reason for this post and for you to come by and see it. How many times have we said over the years that we are all connected?

      What a cool example.

      I appreciate your well wishes and and warm words.

      You’re the best!

      Thank you sincerely!

      Paul

      Reply
  9. {{{{BIG HUGS}}}} My condolences to you and your family. I lost my GrandPops in 2017, he was 95yrs young. Out of 28 grandkids and 30+ great-grandkids, I was blessed to have REALLY gotten to know him the last 3 years of his life. May your Grandpa rest in peace ❤

    Reply
    • Thanks Kati and big hugs right back to you! So sorry to hear about your gramps and what an amazing blessing to get close to him and get to know him like you did. I know you’ll always treasure that. Thank you for being such a great friend!

      Reply
  10. A person that departs from this earth never truly leaves, for they are still alive in our hearts and minds, through us, they live on. May you find the comfort and peace that you seek and may the soul of your grandfather rest in peace.

    Reply
  11. Dear Paul:

    What a beautiful and vividly written tribute; your grandfather was a wonderful man as you so brilliantly portrayed him. There are many very blessed and fortunate people in this story, you are blessed for the wisdom, love, guidance, and attention that he imparted to you and your family, and seemingly so was everyone else whose lives he touched. You can rest assured that you were as much of a blessing to him as he watched you grow and mature into the wonderful man you were created to be; without a doubt, he was equally as proud of you.

    My hope is that you and your family find comfort in knowing that he lived a wonderful, beautiful, and full life filled with love; he has left such a rich and beautiful legacy and precious memories that will help ease the pain as you go through the next days, weeks, months, and years without his physical presence.

    May your grandfather rest in eternal peace until you meet again.

    Reply
    • Dear Linda,

      Your comment made me cry. Thank you for your wonderful words.

      I sincerely appreciate the time you took to write such a thoughtful comment.

      Deep grattitude.

      Paul

      Reply
  12. Oh Paul my heart hurts for you. I’m so, so sorry to hear about your grandpa. What a beautiful tribute..thanks so much for sharing your grandpa with us. I can see what a special man he was. What a blessing to have had him in your life and have those precious memories with him. My love and prayers go out to you and your family. ❤️

    Reply
  13. Congratulations on your gain! So awesome how much he gave you, how you have such big shoes to fill. He will raise you up more now than he ever has!

    Love you!

    Reply
  14. Paul by writing this lovely post you have proved that you continue to be the great grandson that he loved so much. Your grandfather taught you how to love and be kind and there is no greater legacy than that. The tears will fall but one day you will find that the memories you shared will wash away those tears and just thinking about him will make you smile over and over again.

    Reply
  15. Paul, thank for sharing, in honor of your grandpa… “Congratulation for your gain” may he continue to smile down at you … as you take the touch that he left with you forward… Amen

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  16. Condolences Paul.Your words have brought your grandpa to life in the hearts and minds of we who didn’t know him,but clearly his legacy lives on in you because i know you have a beautiful spirit.

    I have always thought when i have lost someone close that they always live on in me as they have influenced me,challenged me , moulded me and encouraged me to do the best i can.Those memories never die but probably become more conscious and treasured after their passing.We appreciate the fact that your grandpa left such an indelible impact on you Paul because we all get to be recipients of that gift.

    You honour his memory so well,i know he would be so proud of you and all that you stand for.

    Reply
    • Dear Paul,

      It’s strange to me how we’ve not yet had a phone call, or a 1 on 1 video chat or even met face to face, but to feel so connected.

      I’m just starting to appreciate and feel what you wrote above and it seems to be both true and the best, most useful way of moving forward.

      Finding strength and inspiration to fill the gaping holes that seem to be left on the physical plan, with the spiritual gifts left by those who have moved on.

      Thank you so much for your words.

      They truly touched me.

      Reply
  17. OMG. I have so many tears streaming down my face as I read this. Sorry I’m a few days late to tell you how sorry I am… I just caught wind of this now. I know how much you adored and looked up to your Grandpa Ford… I’ve seen you write about him in awe several times.

    I’m so sorry for your loss, Paul. He will be able to facilitate great things for you from where he is now… at least that’s been my experience and I totally believe that. I know how proud he was of you, and that he is now looking down at you in awe. I love you. Please let me know if there’s anything I can do.

    And thanks so much for this incredible tribute to your Grandpa. He is lucky to have such an awesome grandson.

    Reply

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