Monday, February 2, 2009

Saying Goodbye

This weekend we said goodbye to my grandfather, who passed away last Monday (1/26). We drove 3 hours north and stayed with close friends, who were so awesome to let us spend the night and watch the boys so that we could go to the funeral and reception nearby.

I had not seen my grandfather in a few years but was so thankful to share in the memories of him and hear everyone's stories.  He always had a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye. I knew he had three sons (including my father), but I had forgotten that I had a whole other family I had never met.  He and my grandmother had divorced many years ago, and he had four more children with his next wife.  I was able to meet some of my dad's half-siblings, and found out that I have a cousin my own age!  The funny thing is that she also has a photography business, has 2 boys that are 2 years apart (one year younger than both of mine), and we had so much in common.

My grandfather was a pilot who flew airplanes during World War II, although he never actually flew in the war. At the reception I found a stack of copies of his "life story" that he had started typing himself many years ago. It was about 5 pages long, single spaced, and last night I sat and read every word. He hadn't finished it so his stories ended when World War II ended. I learned a lot about him, and decided that everyone should write out their life story. It was so helpful for me, his grand-daughter, to learn things about him I never knew. For one, I never knew how artistic he was. He had a reputation as a teenager for whittling wood and had a newspaper article written about his skills. He was musical and also was known as being a jokester, even winning a comedy contest. He even built a washing machine from scratch, using a barrel and four large blades, that all the Navy guys used. He lived during the days where there was no indoor plumbing, you had to use an outhouse, and hunt for your food (he was from Iowa). He even wrote a story about shooting pigeons in the barn during a harsh winter and providing food for his family. I grew in my love and respect for him even more.

My grandfather died of Alzheimer's, as my step-grandfather did a few months back. It is sad that they are both now gone, but I'm also thankful for the time I had with them. Love you, grandpa.

This is completely un-related, but tonight at Target we said good-bye forever to Pull-Ups for Micah. Woo-Hoo! The boy is 3 1/2 so it is about time. He was only wearing them occasionally to bed at night but we know he doesn't really need them. We just need to be more vigilant about getting up early when he wakes up to make sure he uses the restroom first thing in the morning. It feels so good that we are beyond the diaper and Pull-Up stage, at least with one child!


  1. That is so interesting about you grandfather...I sometimes wish I lived and grew up during those olden days...don't know what I'd do without the internet though...

  2. Sounds like he was a special grandpa - thanks for sharing about him. I love that he started his life story.