Thursday, July 22, 2010

Grandpa Great

Yesterday we lost my grandfather, and while we are very sad to lose him in our lives, we rejoice in the fact that is now free of the diseases that ravaged his body and mind.  For the vast majority of his 86 years he led an active life, he had an enormous and beautiful yard/garden and had one of the best Christmas displays on the block.

He had a knack for remembering to do the little things that showed you how much he loved you.  I love raspberries, so anytime I was going to be home he'd pick all the raspberries he could find in his garden and bring them straight to me (to the chagrin of the rest of my family who might have wanted some.)  In his later years when he moved slower he sometimes spent the entire day before I arrived picking them just for me.  He also made a point of always wearing a shirt, sweater or hat I had given him anytime I came home for a visit, in fact the 49ers hat he's wearing in these photos has to be the one I have him over a decade ago.  He not only wore it when I was home, he took such great care of it that it still looks nearly new.

I stole the title of this post from one my sister wrote yesterday.  For some reason when my niece was born we started calling him grandpa great instead of great grandpa.  I don't remember who started or why, but it always felt exactly right.  He loved his little M & T.

Last summer my grandpa was at my parent's house while I was there trying on a dress to get my mom's opinion.  I thought he had dozed off, but as I walked past him to change back into my regular clothes he stopped me to tell me how beautiful I was and that I looked just like my grandma.  As he had lost his sweetheart just months before it is probably the most lovely compliment anyone has every given me.  I don't know that I've ever looked much like my grandma, but to him in that moment I was as beautiful as the woman he spent over 50 years loving.

I'm so grateful for my belief that he is once again reunited with my grandma.  I hope today they are enjoying a good catch up and that he is celebrating the return of a strong body and mind.  And I am eternally grateful that he was a part of my life.

I was a wise man
I lived my life
As if tomorrow wasn't there
I loved my people
I walked the line
Now I'm flyin' through the air
On a cloud

Lookin' down
Tell my brothers that I love 'em
Tell my sisters that I'm free
Tell my children, oh, how I miss 'em
But Heaven's waitin' for me there

And I'm flyin' like a bird
It's everything that you heard
Keep your eye's up in the sky
You might see me sailing by

Farewell fine people
We'll meet again
In a better time and place
A look toward the Heaven
When I cross your mind
You just might see my face

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krissilugbill said...

so sorry about your loss :( he looked like an adorable grandpa.

Corinne said...

It sounds like he was an incredibly sweet and thoughtful man, and that you had a beautiful relationship with him. Thank you for sharing your memories of him...
I'm so sorry for your loss.

Dorian Susan said...

Hey Jamie-
I'm not much of a crier, but your lovely words and sweet memories of your dear grandpa great couldn't possibly be read with dry eye.
Your descriptions convey what a wonderful man he was. I love the story about the
I never really had a grandpa, but I had one really fantastic grandmother. I carry her around with me all the time. She's like an angel watching over me. I hope your granpa great will be the same for you. You have my sympathy.

Mindy said...

What a sweet tribute to a wonderful man!! He was always so kind. He reminded me so much of my own Grandpa. (Maybe the fact they were brothers has something to do with it). I loved to visit with him. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and memories of sorry for you loss!!!

Maureen @ Cottage 960 said...

So sorry to hear of your loss. That is a great loss to your family, and I'm sure your Grandpa will be greatly missed. You wrote a very beautiful memorial for him, I feel like I knew him just a little bit because of it. I hope to be that kind of a grandparent, if I’m ever given the opportunity.

gibknitty said...

Sorry to hear about your Grandpa Great. You write so beautifully about him, I am sure you will cherish the memories of raspberries and more. His comment that you looked like your Grandma in the dress gave me a little lump in my throat. So so sweet.

The Estes Family said...

I'm very sorry for your loss:(

Kate! said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. Your Grandpa Great sounds like such a kind and thoughtful man. The raspberries made me get all teary.

Tammy Lee Bradley said...

Oh sweetie. Sorry for your loss. I was thinking of you throughout the day. I posted my first soundtrack of MY life on the blog for my Picture Summer assignment. vitural hugs to you. ♥tlb

Nicole said...

He did love to give you raspberries! I loved gardening with him. He taught me everything I know - even though I've not really put it to use.

Peterson5 said...

Sorry for you and your families Lost I remember your grandpa always teasing us kids. We call me dad's mom Grandma great some people just deserve such a great name.

Monica and Daniel Bowen said...

Wow that really hit home when I saw his pictures. Just makes me cry. I loved Slugger, that's what I always called him. I loved your grandparents, they were some of the sweetest people. I'm sorry he passed away, but I'm sure he's loving where he's at. I wish I could make it to the funeral, please pass on my sympathies. I hope my dad does okay with his talk. I wouldn't be able to talk at a funeral, I cry too much! My thoughts are with you and your family.

R Montalban said...

Oh Jamie, you lovely, sweet and beautiful person that you are, I am so sorry to read about the loss of your grandpa. Clearly his essence has been passed down to you as you too sound just as sweet and thoughtful a person as he was to you and you both obviously loved each other and shared a special connection. I am sure he will be with his wife and that they will be dancing, laughing and embracing each other again and that they both will look down and smile at the people who they left behind knowing they did a great job and that a little piece of them has been nurtured well and lives on in you.

Hazydaisy said...

Jamie,your words are beautiful and he looks such a lovely man. You will miss him but you can be glad too that you had him in your life for so long.
Lesley x

Bluebelle said...

What a lovely Grandpa, and this is a lovely tribute to him. I'm sorry for your loss, will be thinking of you and your family.

Karen said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your grandpa. This post is such a lovely tribute to him.

Diana Joy said...

Oh - the passages of those we love are so hard.... Thank you for sharing this wonderful tribute to your Granpa Great - I would have liked to known him. You are very lucky to have known such love. Hugs.

Stephanie said...

Your pictures and story are very touching. I'm so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time.

Clinton Painter said...

Jam--So sorry about the passing of your grandfather. What a beautiful tribute you have written!

cindy said...

i'm so sorry for the loss of your wonderful grandpa. he looks and sounds like such a sweet man and i hope he is with his sweetheart right now. the song is gorgeous and touching; wonderful lyrics. xo, cindy

The Felix Family said...

I'm so sorry you lost him! I remember them and visiting them with you guys a time or two. It's comforting to know where he is at and who he is with. I am sure the reunion was amazing. Our thought and prayers are with you!

Katy Noelle said...

My heart goes out to you! I hope for comfort and peace for you and your family!!

Love, Katy Noelle

J. said...

Oh girl, I'm late, but I wanted to tell you how sorry I am for the loss of your Grandpa Great.

kspinning said...

I've been unplugged for over a week now too and just saw this about your grandfather. I'm so, so sorry for your loss. I can tell what an important person he has been in your life. How lucky for you to know and be loved by such an incredible man.

All my love,

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