He's the last of his generation in our family, he fought in WWII ffs, he's still got so much to tell us, so much to hand on.
Growing old is hell. And I don't mean turning 40. I mean getting to 85, getting to 90. Having your address book you've had for fifty years and slowly crossing out every single person in it as they pass away. Watching your partner die. Seeing yourself no longer able to do the things you used to love. Feeling 20 on the inside.
In my role as grandchild there isn't a lot I can contribute at this point - though I'll keep offering, mostly my job is to support my mother, whose selfless dedication to helping both her parents in the twilight of their lives brings me close to tears. If nothing else, I will be there for her in the same way when its her turn.
A part of me is angry about it all, why does old age have to be so awful? Why do people who were once strong and vibrant and had the world at their feet, have to endure this deterioration. But most of me is worried and sad and hoping we're not facing the inevitable now, that its not now, that its later, that its distant and future. Just a few more months, maybe a couple more years if we are lucky, weeks perhaps, we'll just take more.