Monday, October 7, 2013

{Great} Grandparents and me: celebration of life

So this is not my typical Monday Mommy and me with a cute picture of me and Charlie.

Instead, in honor of the celebration of my grandpa's life today and my grandma's birthday, I'm going to post a few pictures of my dad's parents today.

I mentioned on my Five on Friday post that my grandpa was very ill.  And he went home to heaven on Friday just before noon.  My dad and his three brothers and my grandma were all there with him when he took his last breath, which after almost 89 years (would have been 89 in December), I guess that's the way to go.  Surrounded by your loved ones.  And just like that, he descended to heaven and all the pain stupid cancer was causing him was gone.

Not to get too deep, but on Friday night I was sitting on my front porch talking to my dad about the day my grandpa's passing.  A storm was rolling into Kansas City and the sky was filled with lightning and thunder.  After I got off the phone with my dad, I sat there staring at the sky.  Thinking about heaven.  Thinking about how God took one of his children home today.  A great one.  One that lived a great life as a farmer, husband, dad, grandpa, great-grandpa, friend, volunteer, solider, son, brother a follower of Christ.  I was  wondering what he was doing up in heaven.  Thinking about all those that he loved that went before him and how they were so happy to see him.  His parents, three of his brothers and many friends.  All there to welcome him.  What a great welcome home.

At the open house last night, so many people came by to see my grandma and my dad and uncles.  We met so many people that were sharing stories about my grandpa and his life.  He was so loved.

What's really amazing to me is that I'm confident that this was truly the time that God wanted my grandpa to come home.  I've mentioned to a few people in the last few days that I have packed my bags a few times in anticipation of my grandpa not making it.  He has had cancer for a long time.  Different kinds that affected different parts of his body.  He fought hard.  And he beat it multiple times.  What a roller coaster his battle was.  For all of us, but mostly him.  He fought to stay alive for many wonderful things.  And mostly, I'm so thankful he fought hard this last year so he could meet Charlie.  I love that he got to spend time with him a couple times over the last year when we made the trip to Iowa to see him as well as see the countless pictures I always sent and stories I shared with him and my grandma on the phone.  Family was his life and the reason he lived.  I feel so blessed to be part of his family.  And that he got to meet my son.  So thankful.

This world will sure miss his loud voice and laugh, the thoughtfulness he had towards others, his great stories he told, his big, big hugs and his sloppy kisses (some lady that is not related to him said that last night - which means he didn't only give us those kisses!).  He was one of the smartest men I knew.  He was a farmer before farmer's had all the wonderful technology they have today.  He was a carpenter and taught my dad and his brothers SO much about that, which those skills are still being passed down (my dad has taught Jimmy and I LOTS).  He was so many things to so many people.  

I am blessed to have had him a part of my life for 28 years.  Many people don't get the privilege of meeting their grandpa, let alone for that long and developing the relationship we had.

So I'm choosing to celebrate his life.  Think of all the joy and happiness he brought to his world.

Of course it is sad.  I cannot believe he won't just be a phone call away or a 6 hour drive.  I cannot believe I won't ever get to talk to him or see him smile or hold his hand.  But I celebrate because I know I will see him again someday in heaven.  And I'm thankful for that.

He was a great man.  And today, we celebrate the great life he lived.

On top of that celebration, it is also my grandma's birthday today.  And we celebrate her life.  I'm thankful that she was able to spend another year in this world and with us.  And today only reminds us that our time on this Earth is only temporary - so we need to celebrate each day and year we are blessed to be here.

She was blessed with 66 years of marriage to my grandpa and eventually they will be reunited again.  Sixty six years - WOW.  That just blows my mind and is pretty amazing.

So Grandma, we celebrate you today as well.  And thank God you are here with us!

To round out this post, here are some sweet pictures that I posted here on our last visit to see my grandparents in March when my grandpa got very sick.  At that time, they said he would probably make it three months. But he fought the cancer a little longer than that, and we are thankful for that extra time and extra kisses he gave during that time.

We love you Grandpa and Grandma.  Today we celebrate you both.

And to finish it off, a picture of my handsome grandpa during his service in the navy.  What a stud.

post signature


  1. The perfect post, Britt. Love you!

  2. Grandpa would be THRILLED to know that you thought he was a stud!