Monday, April 6, 2015

My Grandpa

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My grandfather with Kaitlyn as a baby
I must indulge for a bit. My grandfather recently passed away. I think I would be remiss if I didn't say something about him here.

So much of who I am came from my grandfather. He was extremely chill. He had seven children and among the seven of them, they only remember him getting angry a couple of times. My father is the same way, and I have inherited this trait from them. 

My grandfather was a book lover. He loved to read books and read them often. All of his children love to read. This love of books has been passed down to me, and I am striving to pass this down to my children.

My grandfather was an extremely hard worker. No matter what he was working on, he worked hard and put 100% of his effort into it. This work ethic has been passed on to me, as well. 

My grandfather also had a freakishly good memory. He could remember details you would never expect anyone to remember. People would often call him to get information they needed. This is where I got my memory from. He was also very witty.

My grandfather loved sports. He loved to play and loved to watch. This love of sports has been  passed down the generations of his family. The night my dad, their seventh child, was born, there was a basketball game he wanted to get to. He asked my grandmother to hurry and get the baby out so he could go (and he lived past that moment in life, so it shows what a nice lady my grandmother is). My dad is also a huge sports fan, so he loves that story. 

My grandfather was fiercely loyal. This is another trait that has been passed down. He and my grandmother were married for 70 years. Along with this loyalty was his supportive nature. His family came first and he attended everything he could. 

There are many other qualities that I hope I have some of and want to develop stronger. My grandfather was a man of great integrity. They say he thought it was disgraceful if you needed a contract. Your word should be as good as anything. He was trustworthy and honest. If he said it, you knew it was true. I have a funny story that illustrates his honesty. My grandfather was a huge Yankees fan. About 12 years ago, a bunch of us took my grandfather to Denver to watch the Yankees play the Rockies. For one of the games, we had a rain delay of a couple of hours. We hung around the stadium, and by the time the game resumed, the stadium was basically empty. Well, here were were sitting at about right field and high up while perfectly good seats were now vacant down behind home plate. We moved down to get some better seats. Everyone except my grandfather. He was the lone man on the upper level of the stadium for the duration of that game. He had his ticket and his seat assignment and he would not budge from it. 

My grandfather was faithful. He was obedient and humble in his faith. I was touched at the many stories of his dedication to paying tithing. My grandparents were very poor as most farmers are, yet my grandfather had high concern over making sure his tithing was paid--so much so he wouldn't mail it in; he had to hand-deliver it. 

My grandfather was a fantastic in-law. He was not demanding. He never told his married children nor their spouses what to do. He was loving and accepting of them and was just always happy to see them. 

My grandfather was not judgmental. He was loving toward all. He was truly Christ-like in how he treated others. My grandfather had a lot of posterity, and somehow we all seem to think we are our grandparents' favorite child/grandchild/great-grandchild/in-law...That is how well they loved us and showed interest in our lives. 

I am glad to to have been able to learn more about his life over the last few weeks. Of course he was not perfect as he was human, but he had many admirable qualities. I have been touched at how much of an influence he has had on my life. It brings to light the importance of what we teach our children. It really can last through the generations. It also brings to light the value in knowing our family. It is inspiring to look at the strengths of those who have gone before us and strive to follow in those examples. 

I am also grateful on this day following Easter for a loving Savior who made it possible for me to reunite with my grandfather and other family members who have passed away. While I miss my grandfather, I know he is enjoying many sweet reunions and that I can enjoy one with him someday (as McKenna frankly put it, "It's okay mom. When you die you will see him again."). 

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