Monday, March 31, 2008

My Ode to my Grandfather

On August 7, 2007, my grandfather passed away. Today as I was going through some old paperwork, I found this eulogy that I wrote for his funeral and thought I'd share it here so I always have it ...

The man whose life we are here to celebrate is my grandfather. My name is Bethany and I am the third of 15 grandchildren.

When we were growing up, my sister and I were always so excited when it was time to go to Florida to visit Grandpa and Grandma. As soon as we arrived, they would take us to the grocery store to get us our white bread and 2% milk, because we did not want their wheat bread and skim milk. This sounds ridiculous to me now, but I say this because Grandpa and Grandma lived and breathed family and they always made sure we had the little things that made us happy.

When I was younger, I remember trying to bring some fashion into Grandpa's life ... not that he wasn't fashionable in his own way. For as long as I can remember, he has worn socks that were almost knee high. We used to roll those socks down to his ankles and flip his collar up. I think one time we even forced him to go to dinner at Ryan's like that ... of course he obliged ... anything to make us happy, right? Eating as Ryan's, by the way, was a ritual in our family. I'm not sure that a visit went by that we did not go to Ryan's for dinner.

I remember often begging to drive Grandpa's goft cart through the neighborhood ... I mean where else can you go and drive a goft cart down the road? We also used to beg for a ride in his 1969 Ford Mustang convertible, that happened to be the same color as split pea soup. I think Grandma took us for a ride one time and I also think that I'm lucky to be alive after that trip.

As I got older, I always knew that a collared shirt would go a long way with Grandpa for a gift. Oh wait, a collared shirt with a pocket, of course ... or else it was useless to him.

Watching TV with Grandpa? I always knew that I would never hear a commercial thanks to that handy mute button. Oh, and if you were talking to Grandpa and he ignored you, that was usually solved by a wave of your arm to cue him into the fact that he needed to pull out his remote control and turn up his hearing aid. Being the electronics guru that he was, it only made sense that he would have a remote control for his hearing aid.

Speaking of electronics, how many 90 year old men do you know that know how to instant message and use a webcam on the computer? Many of us have talked at length with Grandpa though instant messaging ... those conversations are ones that I hold dear to my heart. Through the webcam, you would see the top of his head as he typed his message key by key ... it always caused me to chuckle and my heart swelled with pride to know that this man was my grandfather. I'm so proud of him.

I now have two children of my own and I'm so thankful that they have had the chance to spend time with Grandpa. His favorite thing to do with the kids was play "head thinker, eye blinker, nose smeller, mouth eater, chin chopper, gully gopper" ... it melted my heart every time.

Our family could not have asked for a better patriarch to lead the way. He has shown us all what it means to be a hard worker, and more importantly, what it means to have such an awesome family. As much as he wanted to make us happy, I hope that we made him even happier. I feel blessed to know that he is still leading the way in spirit and that he is now rejoicing with our loved ones in heaven. I love you Grandpa and please give Grandma a kiss for me.

1 comment:

  1. I am so sorry to hear. My grandfather recently passed away too. I was on the internet searching for ideas for an ode, when I came across this lovely website. You do not know me but I know how it feels to lose someone so special.