On December 12, my Grandfather passed away just days past his 93rd birthday. He was a kind, generous and knowledgeable man who always had time for others. He outlived his first wife and his second son (my father). He left behind his wife, three sons and one daughter along with multiple grandchildren and great grandchildren.
I attended his memorial service this past Saturday in Spokane where the Army gave him funeral honors which included folding the American flag and playing Taps. Almost his entire family gathered at the church to honor him. I read the Gospel of John 14 for him but stumbled when I got a bit choked up and lost my place due to the tears in my eyes.
The best part of his service for me was hearing the stories from his sons and daughter-in-law. They relived stories that made us laugh and some that made us groan. Some were new to me and others were old tales that had been told, time and time again.
My grandfather came from a time when money was tight and you had to know how to fix things yourself and he knew how to fix almost anything. It was a skill that he passed along to my Father and one that my Dad passed along to my brother and tried to pass along to me. (I'm much better about just calling someone else to fix it which means my brother now gets those phone calls).
Last May, I loaded up the girls and we headed to Spokane for a visit. I knew his days were getting shorter and I wanted to make sure that we saw my Grandpa for a happy visit. The last time we had seen him was when my Dad passed. The girls had a fantastic time and while it was an exhausting trip for me, I'm so glad that we visited. I was able to have a good chat with him.
May God grant you peace, Grandpa.