This is a picture of me and my Grandpa. It was taken after returning home from a baby beauty pageant my mom entered me in. I didn’t win (and with that mouth-agape blank stare, I can’t imagine why not), but I like to think my grandpa thought I was beautiful all the same.
He passed away Sunday morning and my world has been rocked, just a little bit, ever since. He lived a good, long 84 years on this Earth. Sixty-five of those years were spent married to his best friend and soul mate, my Grandma. Knowing that my Grandpa won’t be around to offer me candied orange slices or to give me his trademarked half smile is tough enough, but watching my Grandma come to terms with losing her husband is just about one of the toughest things ever, I think.
My grandpa had a reputation for being tough as nails. But I never knew him as anything but an old softie. He had a great sense of humor about him – and, oh, he was witty. I have never been the type that could remember jokes, but I can still quote a couple of his one-liners to this day. That’s how funny he was. He loved baseball, Westerns, detective shows, Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune. He once patiently sat at a kitchen table for an entire hour because I insisted on making him breakfast when my Grandma was out of town. I was 10 and I didn’t really know how to cook. He ate every bite. I can list of a lot of things that were great about my Grandpa but I think my favorite part about him is how madly in love he was with my Grandma. Their marriage was beautiful to me and I feel so fortunate to have their example to live by.
My Grandparents are the absolute center of my family. I will miss my Grandpa more than I can express. I am sorry for my Grandma, Mom, Aunts, Uncles and Cousins who are experiencing this loss right along with me. I’m glad we have each other.
Thanks to all of my friends who have sent condolences, good thoughts and prayers towards me and my family. They are so very much appreciated.