There's nothing like getting a call on a three-day weekend from your father that starts out "I have some bad news..."
My maternal grandfather died yesterday. My parents got a call yesterday morning from his neighbors, who became alarmed when they noticed he hadn't picked up his newspaper by his usual time. They knocked on the door and called for him, but he didn't respond. They called my mom, who told them how to get into the house. My parents left for my grandfather's house right away, but my mom was thinking it was more likely that the paper had just been delivered late, and that my grandfather had gone to run errands. But she got a call back a few minutes later from the neighbors, who had found him on the floor in his bedroom. The coroner said it looked like cardiac arrest, and said death would have been almost instantaneous. The coroner put the time of death at 8 a.m., but my mom and uncle thought it was earlier, because all of the night lights were still on in the house, and there was no sign that my grandfather had started his day. He was an early riser, and religiously stuck to his daily routines. They had both talked to him the day before, and my parents had gone over on Saturday to help with some of the household chores.
He was a stubborn man--my mother and uncle had approached him several times about assisted living, but he refused to leave his house. I guess in a way it was good timing--he was getting to the point where he would not have been able to live on his own, and this way he got to finish his life in his house the way he wanted to. He loved basketball, and was an avid Lakers fan. He played both football and basketball at Colorado State, before World War II cut his career short. He served in the Navy, and used to tell us stories about the pet monkey he got in the service (that he wasn't allowed to bring back to the States).
The funeral will be sometime within the next week. I'm going to take a break from the blog until about the middle of the month. When this has all passed, I'll post the Stonehenge stuff (oh, and just to clarify, all the Europe stuff is from a trip we took last year--I just got lazy with the blog and resurrected my trip report so I wouldn't have to write--sorry for the confusion).
I like to think my grandfather and grandmother are together again, and that maybe they're enjoying the time together they never got because of Alzheimer's. It's still weird to lose them both within six months though. My husband's great-uncle recently passed as well, so maybe if the old addage about death coming in three's is really true, the Grim Reaper will leave us alone for awhile.