Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Grandpa Dick

This guy...surrounded by my beautiful family....is my grandpa!

Words cannot express how much I miss him and still I don't think it's fully 'hit me' that I'll never see him again.  I heard the news of his passing and I was so sad, but the week went on and we planned for his funeral.  All the commotion and being home with my parents and family helped because there really wasn't a dull moment to just sit and take it all in and when there was we had each other for support...for hugs and an "it's going to be ok".  

For the last few years of my grandpa's life, he lived in a veteran's home about 25 miles from my parents.  Every time we'd make the trip home to visit, we were sure to plan enough time to go visit grandpa.  Even tho he couldn't see very well, his eyes lit up at the sound of our voices...and right away asked for his little girls...Alexa and Lillian.  The vet's home took such good care of him and he was able to really enjoy his time there, listening to small concerts, play bingo, cards and cribbage, tease the nurses and even took a few fishing trips.

The above picture was taken of his bed the morning after he passed away.  Needless to say, it brought some heavy tears.  

My grandpa had the BEST sense of humor.  He could be 100% serious and still be funny at the same time. I will never forget that about him - the way he would tease and make a joke before you'd even realize he was making one.  

For his funeral, my brother's and I wrote down some of our favorite memories of Grandpa Dick and the pastor read them during the service.  The service was beautiful - but, hearing our memories read was tough.  Grandpa Dick and Grandma Louise (who passed 4 years ago) were such a huge part of our lives.  We were so lucky to have them live in our same small town.  The devoted so much of their lives to us grandkids and never missed a ball game, choir/band concert.  They taught me how to golf and grandpa trusted me with his 3-wheeled Harley Davidson golf cart.  They came with us on camping trip to the mountains in Montana and {even slept in a tent}.  I still get sad every year on my birthday that I don't get to eat my grandma's popcorn cake she'd make me every year - the one that my grandpa would help make and steal the m&m's off of.  

My grandpa was played such an active role in our community, too, and everyone we talk to has such wonderful stories and memories to share of him - mostly funny, of course.  And everyone remembers him in his jeans, polo shirt and suspenders...which is just how he was honored at his funeral.....

Nephew's AJ & Joey, brothers Geoff and Danny, my Dad, Brother Ben and husband, Adam all decked out in grandpa's polo shirts and suspenders.

Grandpa's funeral was Memorial weekend - which was quite fitting.  My girls honored him in red, white and blue.

The burial was sooo beautiful....hard, but beautiful.  
Above is my Dad receiving the flag.  I'm tearing up looking at this pic...this was a very emotional moment for all of us, especially my Dad.

The Legion was there to give the 21-gun salute and TAPS was played.

Each of us grandkids received a bullet shell which we will all treasure.  My brothers are making necklaces out of theirs and will wear them when they go hunting - a special hobby they shared with Grandpa.

On Sunday - we brought flowers out to his and and my Grandma's grave.
There is something so raw about this picture still that just gets me - it's too fresh.  Maybe it will be better when his plaque is on there?

Grandpa was 92 years old when he died and went peacefully in his sleep.  The best way to go....pain free.  We are comforted by the fact he is with Grandma again and smiling down on all of us.  We have one hell of an angel watching over us and I love that angel sooo much!



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