Sunday, July 26, 2009

RIP Grandpa

A few weeks ago, my family got together to go to dinner the night before my brother was going into the MTC. We were joking around, getting ready to order dessert, when my mom got a phone call; it was my grandma. She broke the news that my grandpa had died. All of a sudden, the dinner became a somber event, and my mom and I got up in a hurry to go be with my grandma, running down the streets in Salt Lake to get to my car. It's kind of humorous now, but the urgency for my mom was real. We sped up to Ogden (I heard my mother utter the words, "Thank you for speeding." That was a once-in-a-lifetime experience...)

The next few hours were completely surreal for me. I don't have a problem with dead bodies, but it was so strange walking into my grandparents' home and seeing him on the floor with a sheet on him. We were the first family to arrive, after the home teacher and some neighbors had come over. The sherrif was there, waiting for the mortuary to come take care of things. My grandma was on the phone, trying to call all of her children to break the news. We were supposed to be at my brother's setting apart, but sometimes you have to make a decision and go with it. Mom needed to be there for her family.

The viewing and funeral were sad events, but it was special to see all the family getting together to celebrate such a wonderful man. My grandpa wasn't anyone famous or overly special, but he was a hard-working man who was a great example to his family and to others.

Some of the things I remember about my grandpa:
* Sitting next to him at any sort of meal meant you got extra EVERYTHING on your plate. He grew up during the depression, and struggled as a child, so now that he could be generous, you can bet he wanted to make sure you got plenty to eat. Along that same line, he made something called "Grandpa Soup," that was usually a mixture of whatever he could find out of his garden and in the cupboard. Half the time, no one knew what was in it, but it was always delicious, and much better eaten with a huge spoon (a "grandpa spoon," we called it). He also fed us ice cream whenever we went over there. That was something you could always count on.

* He always called us his sweetheart or some other pet name. He had 56 grandchildren (!), so being expected to remember all the names would have been insane. It was so sweet, though, when we would hug him goodbye.

* He was big into doing family history. He did thousands of name extractions and spent hours doing temple work. I can barely do fifteen minutes of online name cataloguing, but when I think of how much time he spent doing this work, it gives me a little motivation to do better.

* Back when he was younger, he was in World War II. We've got pictures of him, but one of my favorites is of him shaving, crouching down, using his helmet as a sink. I always think of him as my old grandpa, but back in the day, he was a good-lookin' fella.

All in all, I'm sad that my grandpa has passed, but he is definitely in a better place. He had been sick with heart problems for awhile, and it was a back and forth of him feeling better and then getting worse. I'm glad that he doesn't have to be sick anymore. I know we will all miss him dearly. Love you, Grandpa. :)


Blogger Lindsay said...

You're lucky to have so many great memories of your grandpa. I loved the "Thank you for speeding" part. It's always nice to have a little humor in a serious situation.

July 26, 2009 at 8:43 PM

Blogger Erika said...

I'm sorry Annie!! Sounds like a great man.

July 27, 2009 at 3:57 PM

Blogger Adrianne Miller said...

Well this post made me cry. Your most recent post made me cry. See my comment.

July 29, 2009 at 7:15 AM


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