A few days after that last hopeful journal I got news that my grandfather was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. They think it started in his lungs, then progressed to the rest of his body. It ended up deep in his bones Oddly enough, his only indication that anything was wrong was a cough (he was a smoker for most of his life) and his shoulder bothering him, which he just chalked up to being in his 70s. He decided on home hospice care, and we spent many weekends in New York helping out grandma and grandpa as best we could. He passed away early February, right before what would have been their 60th anniversary.
One of their sons is dead and the other is estranged, so my brother Chris and I had to take care of things. Luckily we have family that live closer who could help Grandma out, so that's been good, too.
Grandpa was on morphine at the end, as the pain was getting pretty bad, but he was lucid enough to tell me never to forget what he taught me, and that I would be all right. He also promised to visit me here "once this is all over" and he said he wanted a tour of the shop when he did so.
He enjoyed the tour.