We arrived in Navasota around 11AM and located his house. It's a historic home, which I'll try to talk about at another time. No one was there, so we checked with a neighbor who just happened to be home from work that day. She informed us that he drove down in his white pick-up truck to one of the local nursing homes every day. It was hard to imagine him behind the wheel, being that he was 88 years old. After getting directions to the retirement center, we went there. Lo and behold, there was the white pick-up truck as described sitting in the parking lot.
We entered the facilities, and the staff directed us to his room. He was lying on the bed sleeping next to his wife (This is his third wife). The story is actually quite touching. Technically, Cleve wasn't admitted as a resident at the nursing home. Every single day since his wife had been admitted, he would get up there early in the morning to be with her. Of course, he got some meals while he was there. But it was hard for him to be torn from her side when he had to go home each evening.
Over the next several months, Grandpa Bayne's health steadily declined. He was finally admitted into the retirement home. It took some convincing on the part of my mom and his nephew. After a couple weeks of fading in and out of sleep, Grandpa passed away more or less peacefully on Friday March 31st at the age of 89. He was the last of his twelve or thirteen siblings to go.
In closing for now, I was able to talk to my Grandpa on the phone one last time about a couple of weeks before his death. Separated by thousands of miles, I did my best to communicate my hopes of seeing him when we would return to Texas. He told me he loved me and was looking forward to seeing me and my family. I said 'goodbye'. And he repeated his words. "We sure are looking forward to seeing you here." We both said 'goodbye' again. And then I waited for the phone to disconnect, but it didn't. Just the ambient background noise at the nursing home. A strange pause for what the future held, flowing between and within our two souls at that moment, half a world apart.