It’s Christmas Day 2019 and instead of sharing in the usual family chaos, Katie finds herself in a senior’s home, sitting in silence beside her Grampa’s bed.
The realization of what will soon come to pass sets in and she vows to journal each of her visits, creating a moving chronicle of a death observed. Old memories are revived as Katie devotes herself to caring for the family patriarch in his last days. New stories rise from conversations that are never long enough and from the small tasks of fetching water, bringing cookies, tidying laundry, and noting the sugar packets secreted away in a private joke.
Ensuring that Grampa, as Katie pronounces and spells his name, is looked after by the care home staff, is an even greater task, and it threatens to overwhelm her. Her heart is pierced when learns that Grampa fallen again, and then again. Although she rallies her extended family to show their love, and her husband, mother, father and children fully support her, the effort she puts out is monumental. After his passing, the reality of her Grampa’s continuing presence brings comfort, as Katie, now a more mature and profound person, adjusts to her loss.
Written with direct and uncompromising clarity, this powerful memoir will bring tears along with chuckles as it reminds us to love while we are able.