When I was old enough to understand what sort of person he was, and understand the meaning of some of the stories, and to hear how he mistreated and threatened the staff at the nursing home (They took away his gun after he began waving it at the help), I was too old for him to give me candy and money (spontaneously, on every visit) anymore. Somewhere around then he took a bad fall, and, although he got back on his feet again some time after, he was never really mobile again. That must have been around the same time he was finally cajoled into not driving, and I ended up driving his car. He moved from assisted living to personal care, and after a trip to the hospital, to a nursing home. Last week or so, he went back to the hospital, but respecting the directives, after stabilizing him, he was transferred to a hospice room, where he died Saturday morning sometime around 9 AM.
On the positive side, he worked for fourty some odd years on the railroad before retiring, and was an accomplished carpenter besides. He built the house he lived in, and the one across the street from it, as well as a lamp and some other odds and ends. His stinginess throughout his life resulted in substantial savings, which my college expenses, the truck (which replaced his car) and his medical/living expenses have (AFAIK) all but drained. It would seem I owe him some gratitude for all of that.
In recent years as his health waxed and waned, my bitterness towards him faded somewhat, and I began to pity him, existing in such a state. I could not and do not believe that a man so energetic and well, alive, in life, would have wanted to live in a bed, or stumble around with a walker, and I became more bitter about his being kept "alive" than at his acts in life. His passing was long overdue, but I am glad he finally got to go, and that he had some peace and dignity, which all sentient beings should have at death, just as they should also be able to choose the time, place, and nature of it. Now we just have to get his relatives through it (They seem ill prepared, despite ... how unsurprising it all was).
The "visitation" was yesterday. It was sort of like a wake with no food and drink, but at a funeral home decorated in late Addams' Family, except that half the people in the room are relatives and half are (seemingly) complete strangers of various tenuous links. Today is the "memorial service", the graveside bit, and the ... family dinner (reception?).