My grandpa passed away Monday, August 10. He was a great man. He did not want a memorial service or funeral, but I felt like I needed to remember him as way of saying goodbye, and for my own closure.
When I was a little girl, I always looked forward to my grandparents visits. We got to see them about once a year when they drove out to Colorado all the way from California. I remember my grandpa investing quite a bit of time with us girls. He was always trying to engage us in some sort of activity. One summer he bought a croquet set and proceeded to teach us all how to play the game. It must have taken a great amount of patience because I remember getting bored with the game myself, and I was the oldest. It was still a lot of fun though, and we had a lot of fun trying to win. If I remember correctly, I think us girls were given many a second chance.
I rarely remember a visit when Grandpa was without his video camera. At first, he had a rather large one that he carried around on his shoulder. Every visit, we would put on a talent show for him. It became quite the tradition and something we prepared for in advance. The earliest talent show showcased my 5 year old dancing skills, and my sister Hannah’s too cute ability to slide down the stairs. Later shows had silly skits, flute playing, gymnastics, singing, dances and even a goofy imitation of a tyrannosaurus rex. We have many many great memories showcased on tape because of my grandpa.
He was always a great encourager of educational pursuits, giving us a keyboard at one time for piano lessons, and always asking how we were doing in school, and what our future plans were. I remember one time I actually told him I wanted to be an accountant. He chuckled at me, because I think he knew full well that I was full of baloney. It was one of those things I thought he’d be impressed with, so that’s what I told him. He was a great scholar himself, always reading up on the latest political thing, and educating himself about important issues.
He and my grandmother were married almost 63 years. They had many things they liked to do together; dancing being at the forefront. They went dancing at least once a week, and also to special ballroom dancing events at places like the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs (one of their favorite places to visit,) and I believe they even took a cruise with a ballroom dancing theme at one time. My grandpa was the perfect gentleman, always knowing just how to treat a lady and all the proper rules of etiquette. Together, he and my grandma were a constant and steady example of a great marriage, something I’ve very much appreciated in my life. They were able to make it to each of their grandchildren’s weddings, and celebrated each pairing with a lot of joy and reverence.
In later years, he and my grandmother made it possible for our whole family to get together for family reunions every 3 to 4 years. They would rent a beach house out in California for a week, and we’d all converge for lots of fun and catching up, and of course the traditional talent show. We always looked forward to these reunions, and they just wont be the same without him.
I will miss my grandpa very much. He was my favorite grandpa, I don’t mind saying. He invested a lot of himself, his time, and encouragement in my life. He was a really great grandpa. And although he was a little shy about telling us he loved us, it showed in the many other areas he gave to all of us throughout his life. I love you, Grandpa. Goodbye.