Cory and I flew to South Carolina to spend time with my family. It was really hard to leave with the passing of Grandpa Bird; we had to leave before the funeral was held. I really wanted to attend the services with Kevin, and hated not being by his side.
We have had a weirdly dry winter with very little snow, but we had a big winter storm the evening before we were to fly out. I was so stressed that we would miss our flight, or it would be delayed due to the weather, and slept horribly. Luckily the storm fizzled out and we made it to the airport without any delays. We woke up at 5am to go and it was a long day of flying, but Cory was an angel. He watched Scooby Doo and played with his new action figure and didn't whine or complain once. I think he enjoyed having all of my attention, and I can honestly say I enjoyed the day with him.
Cory on the plane. We made swords and guns out of pipe cleaners.
Cory was excited to see Grandma and Papa Whitesell and was even more excited to get to their farm and see the animals and the cousins. He is such a social kid and had the time of his life playing with all his cousins. He was like the "shiny new toy" and was the center of their attention (which he LOVED).
After I long day I know he was exhausted (even though he didn't act like it). I tried to get him to sleep in the king size bed with me or in the crib, but he insited on sleeping in Grandma Whitesell's "big boy bed" (a toddler bed set up in their movie room). I was so worried he'd wake up scared and not know where he was, but that kid slept like a rock until 9:15am and woke up happy and excited to be at Grandma's.
Kevin's Grandpa Bird passed away on January 20, 2012. It was a very emotional time leading up to his passing as well as the days following. Grandpa was in the hospital several times over the holidays, with complications from his diabetes. He wanted to be home and his health deteriorated over the next weeks. We were able to go and visit him often and Cory had developed a love for him and going to his house. Cory loved to raid Grandpa's candy dishes, and I'll never forget last Halloween when Cory trick-or-treated at Grandpa's house and the two of them sat on the couch watching "The Hulk".
It has been sad trying to explain to Cory that he won't be seeing Grandpa anymore (at least for a long while). Cory has been really sweet through it all though. Cory commented that Grandpa was with Heavenly Father now and that he wasn't sick anymore.
A few hours before Grandpa passed, Cory was able to hold his hand and tell him he loved him and say good-bye. He whispered because he said he didn't want to wake Grandpa up. My heart has been full of appreciation for Grandpa's role in our lives. I am grateful that because of him, we are able to have the family we have today. I'm sad that Cory will not know him better and have time to create more memories with him, but am thankful for my faith in the Lord and my deep belief that families can be together forever.
Top : Kerry, Kevin, Grandpa, Denise, Leslee, Karen
Bottom: Trisha, Lindsey and Dave