In the hours before Grandpa Alton died, talking became an effort. He would nod or shake his head in reply to questions, but forming words required too much exertion. However, when he was asked, "Can I get you anything?" he managed a last request: ice cream. He was tenderly spooned a bowlful. Shortly afterwards, he looked into the distance, waved at someone we could not see, and took his last breath.
The fact that his final words were 'ice cream' struck us all as entirely fitting. Fosters are devout when it comes to their love for this particular desert. For years, they've had a tradition of making homemade ice cream every Sunday afternoon; they've frequented the local Nielsens so often that they are on first-name basis with the owners; and when it comes to flavor, texture and consistency, they can be opinionated snobs. :)
I believe Thury was the one to suggest that if we truly wished to honor Grandpa, we'd buy ice cream instead of flowers for the funeral. He and Lance took that idea and ran with it, stopping at the grocery store and buying as many flavors as they could find. We then gathered after the viewing for the largest ice cream sundae anyone had ever seen!
It was a lighthearted, fond way of saying goodbye. And in true Foster fashion, the brothers are all practicing what their final words will be: "Shrimp!" "Steak!" "Peanut Butter!" "Lasagna!"
I love being a part of this family, and am proud of the legacy that Grandpa Alton has left for us. :)