I have wanted to post about my grandfather since he passed away two weeks ago but I never knew what it was that I wanted to write. I have wanted to convey my love for him and to somehow convey what a wonderful person he was. I should have known that this is impossible after watching my mom try to write his obituary and after listening to my great uncle give his eulogy. You can't simply state the entirety of a person in a few sentences or even pages.
When I was a kid Papa was a bear. He was a big, strong, hairy bear. A bear gives bear hugs, he sucks your eyes out and loves to eat homemade pie. Up until I graduated from college Papa was in great physical condition. Every summer since his retirement and up until about a year and a half ago Papa spent his summer splitting wood. He would somehow find fallen trees, get them to the field across the street from his house and split wood to keep his house warm along with neighbors, friends, and ANYONE who needed it. I think the hardest thing he heard from the doctor besides that they couldn't do anything else for him was that he couldn't use his chain saw anymore. He loved fishing. He loved the mountains. He was gentle with his counsel to me as a teenager. He would advise me in a way that didn't make me feel defensive or like I was being treated like a child.
He had a great ability to love others. He immediately made Mike feel a part of the family. He took great joy in our good news. He didn't need to overstate it. You could feel his loving acceptance as you sat with him.
Whenever I saw my Papa he would say "Thanks for Coming" even if he had come to visit me. Over time it became a competition to see who could say it first. Frequently my mom would walk out to meet him when they had pulled up to our house and before he got out of the car he would say "Thanks for Coming"! He had a great sense of humour. I miss him already.
1 week ago