The holidays carry such memories with them. My childhood Christmases were full of celebration with grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins in a similar way to how my kids experience it now.
Ayla and her Great Grandma opening a gift
This year when we visited my grandparents on Christmas Day, we stood around my 89-year-old Grandpa's bed and talked to him, kissed him, and told him that he was loved. Each of my girls sung him a special song (Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, Peace Like a River, and Happiness Runs). He briefly opened his eyes while I talked to him. I could tell that he felt our presence and heard us, but he wasn't able to communicate.
My Grandma told stories of when they first met and she clearly remembered the color of the sweater that he was wearing the first time that she laid eyes on him and how handsome he looked.
On the very next day, surrounded by every one of his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, he had moments of clear lucidity, could smile, and speak clearly at times.
I am so deeply saddened that he is gone, and I am so immensely grateful that we were able to see him on Christmas and that he was able to see us.