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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Love You Grandpa...

A week ago from Monday, my Grandpa Dale passed away. Today would have been his 97th birthday. It has taken me a little while to post this because I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to say or how I wanted to say it. I didn't get the opportunity to say good-by in person and I wasn't able to attend his funeral, either. I had a rough few days coming to terms with his passing and accepting that I won't see him again on this earth, but I know that he is in a much better place now...especially since he has been reunited with my Grandma Ila who passed away in 1982, just a few months after I was born.
My grandfather was a remarkable man - he was strong, intelligent, caring, loyal, extremely talented, and hard-working. He was an educator most of his life, but he was also a very gifted artist and a universal handyman. He gave the best - and I mean the BEST - bear hugs ever, and he always had a warm smile and a booming "Howdy-doo!" greeting. As loving as he was, he was also very stubborn and independent - he approached much of a life with a no-nonsense, get 'er done attitude...and I loved that about him. Grandpa always encouraged my artistic interests, and he tried to instill confidence in me when he saw that I was struggling.
I have a lot of fond memories about my grandfather, but a few of my favorites include:
- his picture wall in the stairway hall, which showcased ALL of his children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, etc.
- working with him in the garden, weeding and helping him plant flowers
- our first trip to the art store in downtown SLC where he insisted I get some real art pencils and supplies.
-our matching polyester pants at a family reunion when I was only about 2 years old or so
- receiving birthday cards with a celebratory dollar EVERY year...I don't think he ever missed a birthday.
- eating KFC at family picnics in his backyard and sliding down the hill
- his coveralls (blue or tan ) - a wardrobe staple
- alka-seltzer and orange juice - his sure-fire cure to an upset stomach
- his stories - especially of my grandma and my mom
Even though I didn't get to say good-bye in person, I hope my grandfather knows that I loved him dearly. He taught me so many things, and although I miss him already, he will continue to influence me through the legacy he left behind.

2 comments:

  1. My gran passed away in June, so I know how you feel. She was in San Diego, I'm out here in Jersey - I couldn't say goodbye, I actually hadn't seen her in a couple years. My aunts decided not to have a funeral, which was devastating to some of the cousins. And they spread her ashes two weeks ago, and not one of her 13 grandchildren could come.

    I mean, she was 93 - but it doesn't make it any less unexpected or less difficult.

    <3

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  2. B - loved the post about Gpa, but especially the scrap book page - seriously, you are so talented and creative!! Guess we know it's all in the right genes!! :o)

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