My sweet granddaddy passed away on Wednesday night. I got a call while we were in St Louis on our Spring Break. How I hated not being able to be in the hospital room and give him a kiss. He was 90 years old- married for 68 years, a father of 4, a granddaddy to 10 and a great granddaddy to 6. His children~ my dad and my two uncles~ shared wonderful thoughts about him at the funeral this weekend, while my sweet aunt, his only daughter, was a rock for my grandmother. Some of the words that were repeated throughout the weekend were: honest, committed, order, witty, family man, and gentleman. My granddaddy read the paper from front to back every day and my uncle made a fitting comparison. He said that although Popo would read those papers filled with stories of dishonest gain, greed, slander, political deals in backrooms, indiscretions abounding- popo’s own life stood in stark contrast to those. As my grandmother said about her husband on Friday night,”He was the most honest man I have ever known.”
He was a military man. He lived by the thought that everything had its place. He was a meticulous record keeper. He kept a notepad in his car and recorded the mileage every time he filled his car with gas. My grandmother told me about a time that he asked her to get his “brown belt on the second hook in his closet” and when she put it back for him he reminded her that it went on the second hook- not the first hook. Everything has its place 🙂
But what I love most about him is his commitment- to everything that he was ever part of. An all out, see-it-to-the-end, be there commitment. He loved his wife and treated her like he loved her. He loved his children and his grandchildren. We knew he did. I knew he did. What a testimony to a man~ when you leave this earth, the people you were with knew you loved them. I’ve included a few of my favorites of him…
He was always one to “cut a rug” with the grandkids. He was up for dance parties, guitar hero, or dress up. He loved to make us laugh.
I’ve mentioned before that we celebrated a Veteran’s Day with him two years ago. He dressed up in his uniform and let us lead a parade for him. He showed us his boots and told us about his time in the military. One of my favorite days.
He loved the babies. He asked about them, held them, laughed with them. These are priceless memories for me.
Committment- a beautiful picture of 68 years together.
The funeral was a mixture of sadness, loss, tears and a beautiful picture of family, the rewards of a life well lived, and hope that will not die. I love this last picture. After the service and the graveside, we returned to the church to eat lunch together. We took a few photos (if you know us this happens every time we are together 🙂 ). We start with the grandkids, add the spouses, then add the great grandkids. At the very end my 89 year old grandmother ran over and jumped on my cousin’s lap. That is exactly what my granddaddy would have loved.