Thursday, August 23, 2012

Goodbye Grandpa

I went to my grandpa's funeral last Saturday.  It was a beautiful day.  Unfortunately it takes that kind of occasion to get all the family together sometimes.  But, seeing how my grandpa lived a great and long life, it wasn't under terrible circumstances.  I loved moving around from one family member to another catching up on their lives and letting them know how much I love them.

After walking through the line and hugging my dad, his siblings and my grandma, I got to the coffin and saw my grandpa.  I looked at him for a moment thinking it was crazy that my grandpa was really gone.  I had just seen him a couple months ago.  I stared at him trying to make that last memory of my grandpa that would need to last a life time.  I studied his fingers, his face and his hair do. Then I saw it.  It was perfect.  One of my grandpa's very own carved peach pit monkeys, painted white as his tie tack.  That's when I cried.  It was so simple, yet so perfect.  It truly was my grandpa and I'll be forever grateful for that perfect memory of him.

It was hard that day watching my grandma say goodbye to him.  It was so hard.  I wondered then if she could really go on without him.  I pray for her daily.

I loved hearing different things about my grandpa at the funeral that I didn't know.  Made me love him and be proud of him even more than I already was.

I loved the graveside service.  Since my grandpa was a veteran, a flag was draped over his coffin.  I was so proud of that.  You know how I love my veterans!  Once we arrived at the cemetery there were men holding the flags in uniform.  After we were all seated, they folded the flag over the casket.  The ceremony was beautiful how they folded the flag with exactness, straightening every fold, carefully shaking out the corners, etc.  Once the flag was folded they presented it to my grandma saying something like, "On behalf of the President of the United States of America and a grateful nation, please accept this flag as a symbol of our appreciation for your loved one's honorable and faithful service.  We are sorry for your loss."  I loved that.  Once again I was so proud to be from a family that was willing to serve our country.

The rest of the day was spent with family and I was grateful that I was able to be there.

Soon after hearing about my grandpa's death I went visiting teaching. I have a companion that lost her husband two to three years ago.  I haven't really had anything in common with her, especially because she's older than my own parents.  But for the first time, I looked at her as a woman that had lost the love of her life; just like my grandma.  I asked her how she was doing after we had completed our visits.  Then I asked her how she was really doing, and adjusting to her life without her husband.  I asked her if she would like to go to lunch or visit sometime.  She said that she would love to shop, have lunch, visit, or go to the temple.  I jumped all over it and invited her to go to the temple with me.  We went today.  I loved it.  I felt as though I had really done the right thing.  She was so appreciative and grateful that I had invited her.  I sat in the temple thinking of my grandpa today.  Thinking about how much he truly loved the temple.  The fact that he spent so much time there says so much to me as a grandchild and mother of seven.  I thought about his example and how he truly taught me to love the temple.  I will miss my grandpa, but I will always be grateful for the things that he taught me and the memories I have of him.

Goodbye grandpa.  I was thinking of you today.

No comments: