No, this isn't a thread asking for your sympathies or condolences, though of course they will not be refused. I just wished to express the story as it meant a lot to me today.
My Mom called me around lunchtime. She was in Northern California visiting my Dad where he's been working for a public utility company for months now. They got a call from my Dad's brother Larry saying that Grandpa wasn't doing well and wouldn't last long. They hightailed it to Southern Cal where we're all from originally, met with their brothers and sister (4 kids, 3 boys, 1 girl) at the hospital where Grandpa had been due to difficulties breathing. He's been doing poorly for a while, mainly frome ignoring issues with diabetes and continuing to live like he always had.
When they were all gathered around him, he said, "I'm in Heaven right now", meaning that he was surrounded by his children that all love him. That was yesterday, he passed early this morning...as if he'd waited til all of them showed up and had time to say their goodbyes.
I told my Mom a couple things:
I told her that I needed a favor: She needs to make sure I'm a very old man before I have to deal with something like that. She laughed and said that they'd do their best.
Then I said that for a man to make it so far in life, to have done all the things my Grandpa accomplished, and then to find his end surrounded by children that loved and cherished him must have been the best way to leave this Earth possible.
<Sorry, break for sobbing>
Goodbye Grandpa. I will love and cherish your memory always.