My mom's dad passed away June 19. It was about 5 weeks before that I first heard from her about his cancer. I was upset that I hadn't been told earlier, but she told me that she had only just found out herself. I saw him that Saturday, May 19, and then three more times, the last being the day before he died. I was the last of my generation to see him alive. As I'm the oldest of my generation, I was also the first to see him, so it's sort of appropriate.
He was a good man. I cannot say he was a "great" man, as he was humble in the scope of his life, but he set a benchmark all of our family can judge ourselves by. To think "Would this make him proud?" if we wonder if something is right, or to picture that look of disappointment to know something's wrong. He was a US Marine in WWII, and I believe he'll be getting a 21 gun salute at his funeral. (Cremated, understand.)
I regret not having gotten to know him better. I think he understood, though, that a lot of my time was spent working and taking care of my kids, and that he felt that was as it should be. I'm very glad that I took my kids to see him before he deteriorated completely. It made him very happy to see them, and I know that they will keep that memory their whole lives.
So, Grandpa, rest well. You've earned it.