I hope you'll forgive me for a little deviation from my normal blog subject today. I am going to talk a little about books, so hopefully that will still be okay!
My grandpa died last week. I knew it was coming and as I look back on my choices during the time leading up to his death I'm a little sad that I didn't take time out of my schedule to drive up and see him, to give him one last hug and tell him I love him one more time and to thank him for all that he's done for me.
At the same time, I have some amazing memories of him and I really wouldn't have wanted to remember him the way he was. He was 92 years old, he could no longer walk, he wasn't talking a whole lot any more.
I guess for me, I choose to remember him the way I knew him. I remember him as the man who seemed crotchety but would always go out of his way to help in any way that he could help. I remember him as the man who loved black and white Perry Mason shows and Louis Lamour books (I don't think I ever actually read a whole one though!) I remember him as the man who when I was in college always invited me over for dinner, and slipped me some money before I left, even though they were on a mission at the time and probably on a tight budget. I remember him as the man who baptized me and taught me about my country and just how much it meant to him. I remember spending endless summer days running in and out of his house from the kitchen to the trampoline and him never saying one word about it (well, he might have yelled a few words some of those times!) I remember his farewell address and welcome home address in his ward and how he might have said a few of those "farmer" words that I sometimes talk about. I remember him as the man who had to have all of his teeth pulled, yet still wanted to eat liver for dinner, he was so determined that when his dentures didn't work, he had my grandma blend the liver up in the blender for him. I remember endless meals at his home, and nope, I still can't stand anchovies on my pizza! I remember him as a man of faith who had no idea how to use a computer when he was called on a family history mission to Salt Lake City, but accepted the call anyway and worked until he had mastered all that needed to be mastered. I love that one of my very earliest memories is of me seeing him get out of his CF truck and knowing that he was coming to visit our family.
I have to say that I am so grateful for the knowledge that families can be together forever, there's no way this life would be worth it without that. To me, families are pretty much everything.
I don't know if you've ever been to a funeral for someone who is buried with full military honors, but it was an amazing experience. He had the funeral procession (headlights, flashers, running stop lights and stop signs and an escort), the 21 gun salute, the flag given to his widow, the whole 9 yards because of his World War II service. So amazing!
Most of all, I remember a man that loved all of his grandkids the same, no matter if they were his biological grandkids or his step-grandkids. Thank you Grandpa Dale for making sure we knew that we were loved. I love you! Hope you're enjoying being with Pat again! I sure am glad to know that we'll meet again soon!
Labels: family relationships, Grandpa Dale, LDS beliefs