Friday, March 9 my gramps could wait no longer. After a good check up at the doctors not even 2 days before, his body, mind and soul decided that it couldn’t be without grams. Early friday morning, one of my “rocks” went back to the earth, and become dust.
For us, it was a sad day.
Reflecting on the life he lived, I can say he had a good one. One of the most impressionable times of his life he spent in the service, near the end of World War 2. He was one of the first men in Japan after the bombs dropped so to document the destruction that took place. Since that time he has had the utmost respect for the people in Japan. I don’t know if it was because of the friends he made there, and the kindness he was shown by the people in the country after such an atrocity was committed, or if he just feels some remorse from what he saw and took pictures of. I’d like to think it’s both, and I honestly think it was. I believe that his time there, and the attitude he had towards the Japanese people gave me more of a willingness to understand other cultures better. Thanks, Grandpa.
When he arrived home he met Grams and started his own little family. He had 3 beautiful, thoughtful, and kind daughters, and even with a little hardship here and there, he created, in my humble opinion, a family that could beat the band. He worked hard for a living and did all that he could for his family and friends. My dad always talks about how he and all their friends used to come over to grandma’s and grandpa’s house just to hang. They created a safe and fun place for my young parents to get to know one another, and begin the love that they share today.
That’s not to say grandpa was all sweet and nice to my dad to start off with. No, that came with some time, and a lot of good conversations. I can imagine my grandpa would be quite scary to some of my mother’s and aunt’s suitors. He certainly had that aura about him.
As a child, and now as an adult I always was amazed by my grandpa’s booming voice. As the years went on, not surprisingly, it got louder and louder till the day finally came a few years ago when we convinced him to invest in a good hearing aid. Not only his voice was big, but everything about him was big. He wasn’t a super-large man by any means, but he had a presence that was undeniably there. This was especially true when he gave you a hug, which felt like he was surrounding you with his body and soul, and was also felt when he held your hand. I can still feel my hands in his today. He was so firm, but in them was all his love for you. I’ll never forget his hands, and how he held my own. That’s one of the things I miss most about him… weird, I know, but they always felt like they were guiding me to the right place. And now those hands and that wonderful presence is gone.
Boy, I miss him.
Too soon. It was just too soon. Not for him, I know, but for me. I had complete faith that he was going to be around for Katie’s wedding in May. This wedding, which is at my grandparents church and I am the matron of honor, was a place I knew I could dance with my gramps, even for just a short while. I thought he would be there. In my world he was going to be there.
But now he is gone. I’m not sure exactly what happens to you after you die, but I sure do have some hopes. As for my Grandpa Dick, I hope he is playing golf again without the pain of arthritis, while the sun is beating down and giving him a nice, deep tan, and my grandma is in the golf cart next to him with a drink in hand harping on him about something or other. I hope they are happy, I hope they are at peace, but I mostly hope that they know how much they were, and are, loved.
More than I could ever hope for.