I debated about writing this post for a long time. In the end, I decided that while I definitely want this blog to be a wonderful food blog, it’s also my journal. As such, it might occasionally have posts that are both not food related and not super happy-go-lucky. That being said, if you’re here for the food, feel free to wait until later today or tomorrow, and I’ll have some more of that for you. But for now, as the title suggests, this is a sad post.
Almost two weeks ago, my grandpa passed away. His health had been deteriorating for a while and took a turn for the worst about a month ago. A week before he passed, I was able to go and visit him. When I stepped into his room I was expecting the worst, but what I found was my same loving, joking grandpa that I have always known. I visited him with my sister, and we talked and teased and sat together. He held our hands with a strength that didn’t fit the scene of the sick man laying in front of us. I left with lots of hugs and a peace in my heart.
That picture is a little old, but I love it. I asked my mom to email it to me after it was taken, and the apple mail app on my computer somehow glitched right after she sent it. It would open up every time I opened my computer, which was a little annoying, but then it would load this picture as the most recent email I had received. It made me smile every time, despite the annoying glitch. This went on for about a year before I had to change the email on the app to my work email, but I’ve loved this picture ever since.
My grandpa was a great man whose life was built around serving his family. Whether it was the family he was born into, or the family he created with my grandma, he gave everything to protect and care for the people he loved. And the people he cared for loved him greatly in return. I don’t know how to better measure someone’s life than that.
My grandpa was a rancher–a strong, southern rancher–and when I was very young I was a little intimidated by him. Most of my earliest memories of being with my grandparents revolve around my grandma, who was the absolute picture of a loving, nurturing grandma. As I grew older I grew closer to my grandpa, and I truly gained a respect for him and the way he had lived his life. I strive to be even a little bit as selfless and hardworking as he was.
Look at that adorable little baby! I bet she grew up to be the most awesomest person ever! Jokes, jokes, I was not the most adorable baby ever. It’s ok, I was well loved. I love old photos. They always make me wonder how unfashionable pictures of me will look in 20 years. Not that I’m all that fashionable right now or anything. Haha. But I really do love old pictures and how they can bring back so many feelings and memories. It’s impossible to talk about my grandpa and not talk about how much he loved my grandma. There’s a quote out there that says, “The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.” I think all of my grandpa’s children would say that they were blessed by how much he loved their mom. You can even see it in that picture above. After my grandma passed away, my grandpa kept a picture of her right next to him all the time and he would look at it any time he would talk about her. The love he felt for her was tender and palpable, and I feel like a better person for having witnessed it.
Evan and I went to his funeral in Louisiana last week, which was a beautiful service. People stood and shared memories they had of Grandpa, which was my favorite part, and afterwards they played an upbeat, instrumental version of How Great Thou Art. My grandma used to hum constantly, and something about that song sounded exactly like a song she would have hummed. During that song I envisioned my grandpa seeing my grandma in heaven and them dancing together. At first I saw it as the grandma and grandpa I knew and loved…
But then I started seeing it as the young man and woman who met, fell in love, and built a life together.
I know that those two love birds are dancing together now, in each other’s arms. I know that they’re happy together after being apart for so long. Those left behind will miss them both, but we’ve been left with their excellent examples to strive to follow until we can see them again.