A Goodbye Kiss
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I can think of a lot of wonderful kisses. The first time I kissed my husband, John. The kisses I placed on my children. My grandma’s kisses on my cheek, but there is one that stands out as most special of all. And that was my grandfather’s goodbye kiss.
In 1998 my grandfather was diagnosed with cancer. Now, you have to understand how special my grandpa is to me. I didn’t know my biological dad growing up, and I didn’t have a close relationship with my stepdad, but my grandpa adored me! I remember pony rides on his knee and riding with him in his truck, going on special outings.
I offered for my grandparents to move in with us during my grandpa’s last days. (He was eighty-two years old and told us he’d lived a good life and didn’t want to do cancer treatments.) They agreed. For five months I helped care for my grandfather. I listened to his stories and wrote them down. I fed him and helped him get around. It was a special time.
And every time before bed my grandpa would blow me a kiss. It made me feel six years old again. It was a special parting.
As the end grew close, I hated the thought of not having my grandpa with us, but I was thankful that he would soon be freed from his diseased body. Soon he’d see Jesus.
One day after helping grandpa back into bed he settled down, and then he blew me a kiss. I thought maybe he was mistaken. It was the middle of the day, not bedtime. But Grandpa knew what I didn’t. I’d later discover that was his last waking moment. Grandpa was blowing me a parting kiss for the last time on earth. “Goodbye, sweetie,” I could almost hear him say.
Tears are in my eyes as I write this, and I can’t wait until the moment when we are reunited in eternity. The best part is that when I meet up with grandpa again, we won’t ever have to be separated. For now that parting kiss is one I’ll remember, but in heaven the welcoming kiss I get from my grandpa will be the beginning of something even more wonderful.
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