Noah was lucky enough to have three great grandparents at birth. Ashley and I each had one grandmother remaining and Ashley also had one grandfather.
Ashley’s grandpa Wayne lived with her parents since we started dating. He was 90 years old when Noah was born, so it should come as no surprise that his memory was less than perfect. That didn’t stop him from remembering Noah’s name and constantly asking about him. Aside from his memory Wayne was in good shape for his age and was as independent as he could be despite relying on a wheel chair (due to losing a leg). We were beginning to think he might live forever.
Wayne was a military man and remained active with the local American Legion post. I could see some of that stuck with him at home as well. Whenever Noah was over he never took his eyes off him. And if someone wasn’t holding our baby just right Great Grandpa Wayne would let them know.
Noah always seemed to be on his best behavior when he was under Wayne’s watch. Grandpa Wayne would calmly sit in his wheel chair, cradling Noah over his lap. Our little baby almost always fell right asleep in his grasp.
Noah was barely two and a half weeks old when Great Grandpa Wayne suffered a devastating stroke. The family was stricken with sadness as Wayne spent a few days in the hospital before being transferred to hospice care. Three days after his 91st birthday and nine days after his stroke he passed away in his sleep.
A family member’s passing is always greeted with sorrow, but it is important to recognize the good that comes with it. Multiple family members flew in to town to grieve with Ashley’s family and attend the funeral. It would be a time for family and friends to get together and celebrate Wayne’s great life. We were all very happy that Noah got the chance to meet and spend time with his great grandfather before he passed away.
Not even a month old and Noah was going to his first wake and funeral. This kid was growing up fast.
A couple of Ashley’s out-of-town family members stayed with us for a couple of days. The morning of the wake our house was bustling with activity. A bunch of the family was taking turns showering, getting dressed, and eating breakfast.
After a little while all of our guests had left. Ashley and I raced around the house trying to do a little bit of cleaning before leaving. My final task was to change little Noah’s diaper. I laid him down on the small changing pad attached to the Pack ‘n Play. I unbuttoned his onesie and took off his diaper. And then, as I approached him with a wipe, his smooth baby butt unleashed hell upon me and my freshly dry cleaned suit. It was an indefensible explosion, unlike any I had previously experienced.
Once I regained my composure I grabbed a pile of wipes and feverishly cleaned all I could. My suit and the Pack n’ Play took the brunt of the attack, but the floor and neighboring coffee table did not escape the fury. Shockingly, Noah emerged almost perfectly clean and seemed completely fine with the incident.
I quickly got a new diaper on Noah and got him dressed again then briefly scrubbed my suit before tossing it aside for a quick change of clothes. I planned on returning my suit to the dry cleaners after the wake for its second cleaning in less than a week. Thanks to “the incident” we arrived a little later than the rest of the family to the funeral home.
Noah was almost a month old so he got a ton of attention there. It was nice for people to see him, too, because he helped bring joy to those who gathered for the sad occasion. A lot of the extended family that were in town for the funeral hadn’t met Noah yet. He appeared a little overwhelmed at times, but he was still very young so he slept through much of our time there.