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Rest in Peace, Grandpa

December 2, 2009

I’ve turned off comments for this post. I wanted you guys to know what was going on, since I mentioned in in my Sunday Salon post. But at the same time, I’m still too raw to really talk about it; I haven’t had a death in even extended family since I was very little, and all of my grandparents have always been alive and healthy. I hope you understand. -Eva

On Sunday morning, my maternal grandfather, Ted, passed away. He’d been having health problems for the past year or so, but we thought he was on the road to recovery. Then on last Thursday, Thanksgiving, he suddenly became very, very ill and lost consciousness. My mom flew out first thing Friday morning, and was thankful to be there before the end, but it was still hard. Today’s the funeral.

Growing up, I never lived close to any extended family, so I usually saw them every couple of years. When I was in elementary school, and we lived in central Texas, every other summer we’d go on a massive roadtrip all the way up to Buffalo, NY (my mom’s family all live in a small town near Buffalo) visiting all of our family along the way. And while in one sense, I always wondered what it would be like to see my grandparents weekly, I loved how those vacations always felt magical. Seeing Grandpa was always something special, you know?

After his obligatory service in the army (he was an MP), he worked in construction all of his life. If we were driving somewhere, and there was a piece of machinery along the way, Grandpa could tell you everything about it. He loved everything from tractors to planes (although he refused to fly on commerical airplanes), and his knowledge of them was encyclopedic. Speaking of which, he was also a voracious nonfiction reader, with intelligent things to say about whatever book he had just finished. He was a great talker-he loved to tell stories as well as information. And he was a night owl like me, so I have fond memories of visiting their home and having midnight conversations with Grandpa on the kitchen table over a carton of ice cream. He was easy going too: I never remember him losing his temper, and even though my mom was one of five children she doesn’t remember him yelling either. It just wasn’t his style.

He was a generous man: with his time, his money, his love. He always made me feel special, even though he wasn’t exactly lacking in granddaughters (along with my sister, I have eight girl cousins and four girl step-cousins). And I will miss him.

Grandpa and me last summer, when we visited to celebrate his 50th wedding anniversary.

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