Thursday, November 13, 2008


I want to thank everyone who sent me e-mails and/or a card. As promised here is what I wrote and a picture of grandpa. This is a very personal part of my life and was had to post. Losing grandparents that I was very close to is a hard thing to do. I was blessed to have known not only grandparents, but great grandparents growing up.

This picture is the last one taken of my boys with grandpa. This was taken May 24 of this year. It was grandpa's birthday and several of us met at the nursing home and took him cake and ice cream. It was also a great day as he knew who I was and was joking around. I asked him if he knew it was his birthday and he said "well, that's what everyone keeps telling me". I then asked if he knew how old he was and he said "no". When I told him he was 94, he said "well, I'll be...sometimes I feel that old". Ü

Here is the tribute I wrote for grandpa:
Grandpa…grandpa and grandma. As I was thinking of what to say today about grandpa, it was hard to think of grandpa without grandma. It’s like saying ice without cream. It’s not as sweet or enjoyable and Grandpa did not enjoy being without grandma. They were truly “one” in every sense of the word as they did almost everything side by side.

People, who after learning grandpa had passed away, shared almost the same thing with me. How much they respected both of them, how they would always remember that gr’pa looked so young and that gr’pa is now where his heart has always been… with gr’ma.

I tried to think of one sentence that would describe grandpa and this is what I came up with…Grandpa was someone who worked hard, never seemed to age, loved to tease and laugh, loved babies & children, but more than he loved babies (and g’pa LOVED babies), he loved g’ma. I know there are many more words to describe g’pa, but these are the ones I’m going to touch on today.

Hardworking-g’pa practiced what he preached when it came to working hard. I can’t remember how many times he tried to retire, only to be bored the next day. No, not BORED as that word was not allowed in the house, but unable to be inactive for long periods of time. I am sure that there was never once a time when we, as grandchildren, stayed with them that g’pa didn’t either tell or show us how important it is to work hard. I remember when I got a job at the bank. I was living in town with them and it was my first day of work. At breakfast, G’pa said to me “there are only 2 reasons you should NOT show up for work…1. You are VERY ill and 2. You are going to a funeral.” So, it is fitting that we have this funeral on a Saturday when it is more likely that people didn’t have to miss work.

Never seemed to age-well that one is easy. Anyone who knew g’pa knew that he never looked as old as he really was. And sometimes could probably say he didn’t act his age. Ü

Loved to tease and laugh-g’pa loved to tease the great grandkids as well as others (including the nurses at the rest home) and g’ma. One night when I was staying with them, g’pa & I were setting the table for supper while g’ma awas at the stove. G’pa always had to have bread with his meals and he asked g’ma if she wanted any. She said “no, I’m not very hungry” and g’pa got an ornery look in his eye. The phone rang then and while g’ma answered it, g’pa put 1 pea, 1 bite of potatoes and 1 bite of meat on her plate, as well as a few drops of water in her glass. When g’ma sat down, she just looked at him with a puzzled look on her face. He started laughing and said, “well, you said you weren’t very hungry.”

Laughing-you can only understand this word to the fullest if you’ve ever been around g’pa and Uncle Alfred, Uncle Ellis and Uncle Merlin. I don’t know of anyone else who laughs as they did and do it with their whole bodies. They would move their chin up a little and their shoulders would begin to shake. They could make others laugh just watching them and we wouldn’t even know what was so funny that caused them to laugh. Even in the nursing home when we didn’t always understand what g’pa was saying, something would tickle him and he would start laughing.

Babies & children-g’pa loved babies in a way that you don’t usually see grown men love babies. He dearly loved his great grandchildren. When Benjamin was born, and we would visit g’pa & g’ma, I learned early on that you let g’ma hold the baby first, because when g’pa got the baby, anyone else just lost their chance. Even in the last few years when he was slipping away in his mind and we would visit and could barely understand anything he was saying, all it would take is for Ronnie or Tony to walk in with Emma or Trevor and it was like magic. G’pa would light up and start talking to them as plain as can be, holding out his arms as he wanted to hold them.

Grandma-Grandpa and grandma taught us what a marriage should be like. They taught us by example and sometimes by word. It always bothered them when they heard of a marriage breaking up and I can still hear g’ma’s voice saying “why can’t people just get along?”

When g’pa needed to go to the nursing home, g’ma refused to be separated from him and went too even though she could have been on her own. When g’ma died, I believe a part of g’pa died too, but his heart was too healthy to let him go at that time. They are now together again.

The last time I talked to g’pa where I could actually understand him was a couple of months ago and he told me two things. The last thing he said was “I want to go”. I asked “where do you want to go g’pa?” and he said “I just want to be with her” and I’m pretty sure he was talking about g’ma.
The first thing he told me reminded me of a poem that someone sent me. It was weird when I rec’d it because it is said that it was written by a man who was in the nursing home in North Platte and it was so close to what g’pa said to me that day.

Here is the poem…
Crabby Old Man
What do you see people? . What do you see?
What are you thinking . . . . when you're looking at me?
A crabby old man, . . . not very wise,
Uncertain of habit . . . . . . . . with faraway eyes?
Who dribbles his food . . . . . . . and makes no reply.
When you say in a loud voice . . . . . 'I do wish you'd try!' Who seems not to notice . . . the things that you do.
And forever is losing . . . . . . . . . . A sock or shoe?
Who, resisting or not . . . . . lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding
The long day to fill?
Is that what you're thinking?
Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, people . . . . you're not looking at me.
I'll tell you who I am
As I sit here so still,
As I do at your bidding, . . . . . . as I eat at your will. I'm a small child of Ten . . . with a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters . . . . . . . . . who love one another
A young boy of Sixteen . . with wings on his feetDreaming that soon now . . . . . . a lover he'll meet.
A groom soon at Twenty . . . . my heart gives a leap.
Remembering, the vows . . . . . . that I promised to keep.
At Twenty-Five, now . . . . . . . I have young of my own.
Who need me to guide . . . . And a secure happy home
A man of Thirty . . . . . . . . . My young now grown fast,
Bound to each other . . . . With ties that should last.
At Forty, my young sons . . have grown and are gone,
But my woman's beside me . . . . . to see I don't mourn.
At Fifty, once more, . Babies play ' round my knee,
Again, we know children . . . . My loved one and me
Dark days are upon me . . My wife is now dead
I look at the future . . . . . . . . . I shudder with dread. For my young are all rearing . . . . . . young of their own.
And I think of the years . . . And the love that I've known.
I 'm now an old man . . . . . . . and nature is cruel.
Tis jest to make old age . . . look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles . . . . grace and vigor, depart.
There is now a stone . . . . . . . where I once had a heart But inside this old carcass . . A young guy still dwells,
And now and again . . . . . . . my battered heart swells I remember the joys . . . . . . .I remember the pain.
And I'm loving and living . . . . . . . .life over again.
I think of the years . . . all too few . . . gone too fast.
And accept the stark fact . . . . . . that nothing can last . So open your eyes, people . . . . . . . open and see.
Not a crabby old man.
Look closer . . . . see . . . . . . . ME!!


  1. Wow...I couldn't even bring myself to read everything because it makes me cry. Beautiful. So sorry for your loss as I know it's so deeply felt.

  2. Just beautiful Debbie....a wonderful tribute to those that you've loved.

    Now it's your turn to live this beautiful life in front of your children!

  3. I can see how close you were to your Grandpa and Grandma. It is so hard to lose someone that you are so close to. You are very lucky to have such good memories of them both. (hugs)

  4. Debbie-what a wonderful tribute to your Grandpa. As Gail said you are so fortunate to have such wonderful memories. And such great role models for yourself and your children. Keep all those wonderful thoughts and feelings close in your heart.