This Dying Great-Grandfather's Last Wish Will Make You Cry

grandfather Jim Gish grandkids
Lindsay Marcy

When someone passes away, all we want is closure that is equal to our memories of that person. For Lindsay Marcy of Overland Park, Kansas, her grandfather Jim Gish was like a second father to her, and her last moments with him were a true tribute to their life together. Her grandfather's dying wish to play with her children one last time filled her heart with joy.

  • It all started when Jim was admitted to the hospital for intermittent confusion.

    Lindsay Marcy

    In her post on the Facebook page Love What Matters, Lindsay writes that her grandfather has mild dementia, but also was on pain medication, which caused him to go into the hospital. She then shares what she now knows was one of her last conversations with her grandfather: 

    At one point, he asked, 'Have they given me the go ahead to play?'
    I said, 'The go ahead to play???' 
    He said, 'Yes, did the doctor give me my permit to play?'
    I said, 'Play what??' 
    He said (in a somewhat annoyed tone), 'Lindsay, I want to play ball with the boys.'

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  • Jim was referring to Lindsay's two sons, Chase and Travis. She smiled at Jim and said, "Of course, you can play."

    great-grandfather hugging his great-grandson
    Lindsay Marcy

    Lindsay tells CafeMom that there was a reason for this special request. "My oldest son was the first great grandchild and, much like myself, had an instant bond with both of my grandparents," she tells us.

    "During my son's first year of baseball, my grandparents won an award for the most dedicated fans. They never missed a game, even after my grandmother's cancer diagnosis. Both of my sons are sports fanatics and would often sit down next to my grandfather to talk about the latest happenings in the sports world."

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  • Unfortunately, Jim never got to play that one last game of catch. He quietly passed by the end of the week.

    Lindsay Marcy

    Though the loss was incredible for the Marcy family, her two sons found a way to commemorate their great-grandfather in a truly special way. 

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  • Using a symbol of their favorite pastime together, the brothers signed a baseball, writing, "Come play anytime. Love, Chase and Trav."

    Great-grandfather kiss his great-grandchild
    Lindsay Marcy

    The boys put the signed ball in the casket with their great-grandfather's ashes. Cue the waterworks. 

    Lindsay's post on Facebook has since gone viral, and she tells us the positive attention "has softened the blow" of her grandfather's passing. 

    Commenters on the post, which has surpassed 13K likes and over 800 shares, have also found the story to be healing. Many share their own struggles dealing with a loved one with Alzheimer's and dementia -- and credit Lindsay with raising such thoughtful children.

    "Reading all of the supportive and kind words has made me feel grateful that while dementia and complications from the disease can be relentless, there is good that can come from it too," she tells CafeMom. "I never dreamed of impacting so many people and am humbled by the response." 

    It just goes to show you that even the smallest gesture can make a difference if it's truly heartfelt.

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