A little over two years ago life took something from me. That is the funny thing about life. No matter how we live, or what we do to prevent it, it will always take itself away. I prefer not to use the term death or dead. Even when the body and physical presence are gone, I believe that the spirit is undying.
When I answered my cell phone that December 2nd, I hoped and prayed that the news wasn’t coming now. I was in Wisconsin Rapids waiting in between games of a hockey tournament. I didn’t want to go back to the hospital that morning. I hated the smell and the washed out colors, and the nurses that walked by you like nothing was wrong. My grandfather had been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer just 18 months before and was on his way to a place he called “home”.
I had spent the last two days and nights perched up in the second floor window outside of his room waiting for the inevitable. When I mentioned that I was going to miss the first games of the season, my grandmother told me that grandpa knew I loved him and that I had been there. She said that he would not want me to miss the games and that if he could, he would have been in the stands to watch. So, I made up my mind to go to the games and get a ride back with one of the other moms to the hospital immediately following the game.
Despite my hopes, on the other end of the phone was my mother. Her voice was shaky and I knew right away why she was calling. She said, “Grandpa passed about 15 minutes ago. Tell Jackie not to bring you here. Just come home after your games.” I didn’t cry then for some reason. My tears waited, and I knew that Grandpa would be in the stands for our second game. I played my heart out because I knew he was watching, and I didn’t cry until the ride home.
Every once in a while when I least expect it, I will hear the loud ticking of a clock and think of how Grandpa used to impatiently pace the floor and whistle when he was bored. Sometimes I can even smell the blend of Old Spice and Paul Mall cigarettes that was his signature. I know that he is around my family and me. He never let his spirit die as he became weak. Every chance he got grandpa would go golfing with grandma or take his boat out looking for a prize musky to reel in. Until the end he kept on doing the things he loved that made him who he was. Because of my Grandpa’s life and presence, I believe in Undying Spirit.