June 13, 2011


*Dear God.  I wish you gave me the talent to speak comfortably in front of other people, because if you did, I would have had the guts to speak at my Grandpa's funeral.  But...since I am unable to speak publicly, I will write my thoughts out on this here blog of mine.  Amen*

My family just spent the weekend saying goodbye to my grandfather.
My wonderful, adorable, kind, caring, almost 82 year old grandfather finally went to Heaven.
He had begged to go for weeks, even asking everyone who visited him how he could unhook all of the tubes and wires so he could finally be out of pain.
It wasn't the tubes and wires keeping him alive though.
It was his body.  It just kept going until it was his time to go.
That time was on his 60th wedding anniversary.

My grandma wanted him to hang on until their anniversary.
He did.

Hundreds of people came to pay their respects to a wonderful man.
I mean, I knew he was loved and respected by many, but had no idea just how many.
As I stood close to my grandfather and the many flower arrangements and pictures that bathed the room, I introduced myself to many people I had never met.

I shook their hand.
I hugged many.
I introduced myself as his granddaughter.

Many shared stories that I had never heard about.  Many introduced themselves as family that I never knew.
But everyone told me the same thing.
That my grandfather was a well respected, very loved man who positively influenced the lives of many in his community.

I already knew that.

But I also know that his bear hugs were like no other...
...that his on-the-lips kisses was his way of saying "I love you so much, I will even kiss you on the lips"
...that his appetite never suffered even though he was
...falling asleep in the middle of a conversation did not mean he was bored
...his snoring was somewhat calming
...his prayers at meal time were straight from the heart
...his intelligence was inspirational
...his feelings weren't expressed by many words
...his belly laugh was one of a kind
...his love for my grandmother was undying
...having his family around was what life was all about

I am not sure how the family will ever adjust to him not sitting at the head of the table at mealtime.  I don't know how we will ever get over not seeing him sitting in his chair in front of the big window when we drive by.  His lawnmower will never work the same without him sitting on it in his green work clothes and work boots.

But I do know this.

We will do everything we can to make the transition easier for my almost 84 year old grandma.  We will continue keeping the family together because that is what my grandpa cherished the most.

And the memories will be shared with his great grandchildren...and their children.....

...because he will never be forgotten.


Gigi said...

Oh Momma! I'm so sorry for your loss. It sounds like he was a wonderful man and I know you will carry him with you always.

Jenners said...

It always amazes me how people can "hang on" until significant days or holidays. It sounds like you were able to give him a wonderful send off that did his spirit proud.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you didn't have the courage to say it out loud, but you have none the less 'said it' to the many who follow your blog, and good for you, since what you have written is a true statement to who your Grandfather was and how wonderful he was to you and your family.

Grandparents are what hold many families together and I'm sure your Grandfather will be greatly missed...I'm sorry for your loss.