Free At Last

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"Your grandpa wants to see you," my dad told me as he walked into the waiting room, tears filling his chocolate brown eyes. I stood from my chair, and gave him a quick, comforting hug before I turned and walked to the room that held my grandpa.
When I walked in, I heard the beeping of the machines that filled the room. I saw my grandpa, lying in the bed, looking as fragile as glass, and as white as a ghost. I could hear his shaky breathing as he filled his lungs. "There's my Princess," he chuckled. Oh, how I loved the sound of his laughter. It reminded me of days spent on the couch, my head resting on his chest. It reminded me of long conversations about books and history that would go on for hours. It reminded me of life.
I walked to his bedside, and gently grasped his hand, careful not to squeeze too hard. "How are you feeling?"
"I can't even pee without the nurses knowing. How do you think I'm feeling?" Now it was my turn to chuckle.
"I'd imagine you feel like crap," I joked.
"And I'd imagine you're right," he joked back. He lifted his arm and coughed into his elbow, a long cough that sounded full of fluid. My heart ached. He kept telling me he would be fine, but I know the importance of these days. I knew they wouldn't last much longer.
"You know I love you, right?" I told him, trying to find every opportunity to tell him.
"I know, Princess," he assured me, just as another cough shook through him. Blood was left on his inner elbow. "I'm feeling sleepy. Will you stay here while I take a nap?"
"Of course," I told him, gently squeezing his hand in reassurance. Tears flowed from my eyes, seeing the truth of what was happening in his face. "I love you, I told him, one more time.
He looked to the ceiling and gently whispered, "So that's what God looks like." Tears flowed like rivers from my eyes as his eyes slowly fluttered shut. He took one last deep breath as his eyes fully closed. The heart monitor's beep became continuous as it turned into a flat line. Nurses and doctors rushed in, trying to find something to do to save him. There was nothing they could do, though, and I knew it. The peacefulness in his face filled me with serenity. He would never again know pain, anger, or sadness. He was forever at peace. And though sadness filled my heart and soul, knowing that he was finally home filled me with joy.





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