My grandfather died yesterday. I tell you this not to solicit condolences but so I can tell you a little about him. Sometime later I will do a more comprehensive post, but here are some things you may be interested to know.
He was 92 years old, and lived independently with just a little bit of assistance up until the very end.
He was born in 1919/1920 in Pasco, Washington. No one who knew him from the time he was 18 forward would ever have guessed that he was born there, since he spent the rest of his life in the small town in Illinois where he met my grandmother, courted her, married her and raised their son, my father. In the same town, he and Grandma created a paradise during the summer time for their three grandchildren when we came to visit, and spoiled us rotten.
Grandpa took three small girls under the age of 11 (1p, 8 and 6) fishing, and not only lived to tell the tale, but seemed to enjoy it.
At the age of six, Grandpa’s father decided the family had to return to Illinois from Washington to take care of his parents , so around 1925/1926, Great-Granpda, Great-Grandma, Grandpa’s two older sisters and Grandpa traveled by car from Pasco, Washington to Illinois. Traveling by car those days was very different from today, and I can’t wait to write about it more in detail sometime.
There are a large group of cousins in Illinois who also think of Grandpa (and Grandma) as extra grandparents, too. For years after Grandma and Grandpa retired, they took care of these cousins when school was out and the cousins’ parents had to work, or when the cousins weren’t feeling well and the parents had to work, and many times just because Grandma and Grandpa wanted the chance to have them over and watch them play.
Grandma and Grandpa were very excited when we adopted Kayla. They both loved her dearly and did everything they could to let her know that. Kayla loved them , too.
The computer age began in force when Grandpa was in his 70’s. He got a computer and dived right in, becoming proficient with Facebook, e-mail, and scanning photographs and sending e-mails about them to all of his family scattered across the country.
With his computer, he did some work on genealogy, too, continuing a work his mother had started, and sharing the results with us, another story I will share with you one day.
He and Grandma had two dogs that I can remember. They had Clyde, who was originally our dog, but who we had to give away when I was in 1st or 2nd grade to them because of a transfer to a place with base housing that didn’t take dogs. Clyde was an all black dachsund beagle mix. Clyde and Granpda were buddies. Grandpa loved to see Clyde chase rabbits and possums, and anything else Clyde decided to go after.
Grandma and Grandpa got Pepper much later in life, after they retired. Pepper was a miniature poodle, and although I don’t believe in reincarnation, if I had to come back as a dog, Pepper certainly would qualify as a great dog to have come back as. Pepper got long walks with Grandpa every day, got to ride in the car whenever they went out of town to go shopping in the nearest city, usually about 45 minutes away at least, and had a special place on the couch, a bed and the armchair where she could sleep during the day as she chose.
I love him, and I will miss him. Most importantly, I will see him and Grandma again.
Have a great day everyone!