My Grandpa just died today. It may seem crazy that I am writing a blog post a mere hour or so after he passed, but I have so many thoughts running around in my head that I feel like I have to write them down. I don't want to forget a single thing about the man who has meant so much to me. These are the last pictures I have of my Grandpa. I so wish I had gotten to see him one last time, but I am comforted by the fact that I will see him again. I hate that I live so far away from my family. I am grateful that he didn't have to suffer too long. He had Parkinson's, and it was slowly changing who he was, but his last time in the hospital was relatively short and sweet. I am told he passed away peacefully. All of his kids were able to see him before he went too (which is a tender mercy since my Aunt lives in AZ but happened to be there visiting when he took a turn for the worst).
The rest of this post will be all over the place! I just want to write down all the random things I hope to never forget from my amazing Grandpa.
He was a huge source of my confidence as a teenager. He was forever calling me beautiful (literally he would say "Hello beautiful!" in greeting). And he wasn't just saying it to say it, I could tell he really meant it. Anytime I went clothes shopping with my Mom and Grandma (which was lots of the time), he would demand I give him a fashion show when we got home so he could see how great I looked in everything. I appreciate that sweet gift he gave me, for I learned that the world's opinion isn't all that important. Having an amazing supportive family means more than passing trends.
Who else can say that their Grandpa was so cool he helped plan their wedding night?! My Grandpa and I always had an open relationship and would talk about anything and everything. During the planning stages of our wedding, my Grandpa had the idea to dress me up in a tool belt and construction hat for Jon for my wedding night. This was all planned out over family dinner. And my Grandpa was even the one who bought the hat and had it all ready to hand off to me at the hotel! He also gave Jon some bedroom advice!
Grandma's house is always cold, like always. Grandpa would always have his "ARM strong heaters" available. Which was just a big bear hug.
Grandpa ALWAYS pointed at things with his middle finger. I'm 100% immature and have chuckled about it since I first understood what the middle finger stood for.
I will never understand how he didn't like cheese. That one fact made me question his judgment ;)
He also would always make ice cream runs to satisfy the family's sweet tooth, but he didn't eat the stuff. He just would go because he knew we wanted it. Selfless--that's what he was.
He was always quick with a blue grass/old country song.
He was such a hard worker. He worked up until a few months before his death. When he was younger his Dad died leaving him the oldest kid in charge, so he worked as a janitor at school before he went to school himself. He worked multiple jobs at once. It helped teach me that you should never be afraid to work hard for something. He never struck it rich or anything like that, but he always made sure his family was taken care of.
As long as I remember he had white hair. I can't honestly picture it a different color. He called himself a silver fox.
Grandpa and Grandma bought Jon and I a gross of condoms at the army supply store (they are cheap there!!). When they went to check out the cashier looked at their purchases and back at them. My Grandma said "WHAT?! We aren't dead yet!"
Grandpa LOVED vegetables. I will forever picture him happily eating a plate full of onions and other assorted veggies. But if a single speck of cheese fell on his plate he would not rest until it was gone!
Grandpa was a stereotypical slow driver.
Grandpa pretty much always just did whatever Grandma said. He showed me how to serve those you love. And with that-- he always washed dishes after a family meal. It just always happened without question. And I don't think he minded it. He did it because he loved us.
At my wedding, my Grandpa was the one crying the hardest. I was having such a hard time not breaking down because I could hear his crying so hard. It was another memory that showed me just how much he cared about me. He was happy I was happy, and proud that I was getting married in the temple.
Grandpa was a romantic. I loved listening to him talk about the first time he saw Grandma at Coney Island. He told his buddies he was going to marry that girl. And he always flirted with her. He was young at heart. I think part of what I love about my husband is that I know he will still be flirting with me when we are old too!
Grandpa's glasses were always dirty! Don't know why I keep thinking about that, it was just funny he could see past all the speckles on his spectacles!
I always ended up wearing one of Grandpa's jackets when I got cold at their house.
Grandpa and I have the same size feet. Totally random, but it came in handy when I needed to borrow some of his Army boots.
That's all I can think of now, but there is so much more. Grandpa gave everything of himself. I am so grateful that he is no longer suffering. He gets to go visit with his parents now. He hasn't seen his Father in ages, I'm sure their reunion will be sweet. And I will try and be patient until the time comes I will get to be with him again. He better still have those ARM strong heaters ready!