Watching my grandfather rapidly deteriorate is very difficult but it also has taught and reinforced some valuable lessons. He was completely healthy and passed all his physicals this past August and then just five months later, his lab work revealed that something was terribly wrong. Now just 2 short months later, he has very little time left with us. He was always an extremely strong man, both physically and mentally and to see him weak and exhausted just doensn’t seem right. The lesson that was reinforced in this visit was that life is short and there is no time to wallow in self pity or put off until tomorrow what you really should do today. The lesson that I learned is that I want a partner in life like my grandfather has. My grandmother is the most amazing woman I have ever had the pleasure of knowing and she is as beautiful outside as she is inside.She has been married to my grandfather for over 60 years and her entire life has been focused on taking care of him and their children. She has never gone shopping with the girls or out for dinner with her friends or anywhere for that matter and she never once asked for any of that. Every time I see her, she is wearing her apron, smiling and cooking the most delicious Russian meals. I have never heard her raise her voice even when my grandfather would raise his. She took care of her mother-in-law when she became ill which involved being up with her at al hours of the night, bathing her and cooking her favorite foods. Now that my grandfather is sick, she takes care of him, every minute of every day and does it with a smile. The love that she has for this man could never be questioned. The only difference that I saw in this tender, loving and happy woman, is that part of her is dying while she is watching him die. She doesn’t know how it is that she is going to live without him and honestly, neither do I. How can someone who has done nothing but care for others and put herself last, survive when she only has herself to take care of? All that I know is that I hope she finds a way because I can’t imagine losing her next. I want to see her beautiful face, smell her delicious meals, see her amazing garden and hug her gentle soul for many years to come. I can only hope to be half the woman that she is and pray that she will find peace in her time alone. I learned years ago when I unexpectedly lost my mom without even having a chance to say good-bye or I love you to always tell people how you feel, say I love you every day and treasure those who are most important to you. So my message to all of you is make sure you do the same and thank you to all of you who have been in my life.