Family

At a loss for words

This is the only picture that I can find right now that has my grandfather in it. That is killing me. I have a picture, from 3 years ago at his 90th birthday party. It’s of the two of us and it is one of my favorite pictures.
This picture is from my wedding, nearly 7 years ago.

Dee, Fanny, Me, Nathan and Granny.

Some of you read the Haiku about Dee, Well he passed away on Easter. About 4 PM CST, in his bed. It was peaceful. He went to sleep Friday, and never regained consciousness.
We knew it was coming, it was inevitable. He was 93, with cancer eating away at him. But still, someone who is a constant presence, even if it’s not a physical presence… he’s gone. It’s just surreal. I, of all people, am at a loss for words, this doesn’t happen often.
We always used to joke that he was the energizer bunny. He just kept going and going and going. Drinking his whiskey, swimming at the Y and just living life. He was such a presence, a man filled with so much life, even at the end.
I just can’t seem to shake this funk.
I look at that picture though, and I remember the laughter. My grandfather was a… let’s call him a frugal man. Every birthday we got a $25 check, which we were very grateful for. At my wedding, Dee handed me a check, it was for $500. I couldn’t believe it, I was so grateful and so astonished. His wife, Fanny, asked me how much it was for. When I told her, she said: “I didn’t know he knew how to write checks that big”. We all laughed so hard at that, because it was just so true and so funny.
He came alive in the last decade or so of his life. I think a lot of that was due to Fanny, I don’t think I can ever thank her enough. I finally got my grandfather and I will cherish every second of the time I had with him. Whether it was the look on his face when he met his great-granddaughter for the first time, or the laughter that echoed in the room when she broke his jar of moonshine and it ate through the floor in about 2 seconds flat, or the last time I spoke to him via Skype and saw the way his body had shrunk, but his eyes were still so vibrant. He got to watch his great grandkids play over the computer that day and I am so grateful that happened.
His town in Kentucky doesn’t have a crematorium, so he’s having to be ‘sent out’. We will be flying down next Thursday and the services will be Saturday. The whole family will be there, and while I know there will be tears, it will be a wonderful celebration of an amazing man’s life.
I love you Dee, and though you will be missed. You will be in my heart forever.

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54 Comments

  1. Oh hon, I’m so sorry for your loss. Call me if you wanna talk. I promise to answer (or at least call you back in a timely manner.)

  2. not to many comments here and i dont know why…it is sooo sad, but like you said, it was inevitable (sp). if people can understand that was was a 93 year old man that just kept going and going..the thing to think about is that instead of being sad, it is a happy moment and he WAS LUCKY ENOUGH to be around for so long. i just HOPE i will be around to see my great grandchildren. you will have a fabulous trip to indiana!!! yall should have a party instad of a funneral. to celebrate this wonderful mans life that is now living THE wonderful life!

    God Bless You Family Rachel!
    I love you!

  3. I’m so sorry for your loss Rachel! What a beautiful post. It screams how much love you hold for him.

  4. so beautiful and sad. So beautiful that he found such inspiration in the last decade of life. Your tribute to him is wonderful. I am so sorry for your loss, I think this funk is healthy! hang in there and basque in the love around you!

  5. I’m so so sorry sweetie. He sounds like a wonderful, wonderful grandfather. Take care. Sending you a big virtual squeeze. It is tough to say goodbye to someone we love so much, even if it is expected.

  6. I am so sorry to hear about your loss. I have never been close with any of my grandparents, surviving or not, and I think that it is wonderful that you will have some good memories to hold on to. Beautiful post.

  7. Oh Honey, I’m sorry. Can I give you some advice? Write, write, write about your Dee. Let your kids one day know who he was, at least through your words.
    My dad died before I ever had children. It hurts so much that he never knew them, but I keep a notebook filled with memories for them to read one day. It helps.

  8. I am so sorry, honey. I lost my beloved grandpa when I was 16 and I still mourn him.

    BIG hugs to you and your family.

  9. Oh Rachel…I’m so sorry for your loss. I lost my grandfather 5 years ago. I still miss him so much. I think you and I were pretty blessed to have such great relationships with our grandfathers. Many of my friends my age hardly remember theirs.

    Wishing you comfort…

  10. I am so sorry. Dee sounds like he was an incredible man and grandfather. In your grief, may you find some peace in your memories of the time you had together.

    Jane, Pinks & Blues

  11. Oh Rachel, I am so sorry for your loss. I actually want to cry with you because it brings all those feelings back when I lost my Poppy.

    Huge hugs and prayers to you and your family.

  12. Oh Rachel…

    I am so sorry for your loss. He sounds like a wonderful man.

    God bless you and your beautiful family. Sending you lots of hugs!!!

  13. So sorry for your loss. I lost my Grandmother last year and it took me awhile to really accept the reality that she is no longer with us. Just remember the good times and he’ll live on in your heart.

  14. I’m so sorry for your loss honey. I know what you’re going through right now, believe me. I’ll give you a call sometime next week.

  15. I’m sorry sweetie.

    I lost my beloved Oma a couple years ago. It hurt, but her funeral was a wonderful celebration of her life.

    Celebrate his live now and in the stories that you tell your children. He will always live.

  16. In 2005 I gave the euology at my grandfather’s funeral. Really tough. He was amazing. I’m so sorry for your loss.

    You look so beautiful in the wedding pic, btw.

  17. Oh Rachel, I’m so sorry. I hope that during this difficult time you will find more and more memories to comfort you. Hugs, thoughts and prayers for you and your whole family.

  18. It is never easy when someone so loved passes. Condolences from me to your family, Rachel. Even from this bitty post, there seem to be volumes of good memories to last a lifetime and for that you all are very lucky. And so was he to have shared them with you. Condolences for his jug of moonshine too. I’m sure he’s enjoying it up there now 🙂

  19. Rachel, I am so sorry for your loss. What a moving tribute post. My thoughts are with you and your family.

  20. ahhh, hugs! I just recently lost my grandfather as well (last Oct) and it was still a blow, even though we all knew it was coming. I’m sorry for your loss.

  21. Rachel, I know what it means to find closeness to a grandparent later in life, that is how my grandmother and I were. I was so completely crushed when she passed because we’d just become friends! ; ) Many prayers for you and your family at this time of loss.

    Thanks for your nice comment on my blog.

    “See” you later…

  22. Hi Rachel:

    I, too, send along my deepest sympathies to you and your family.

    It’s such a hard loss to cope with, but I am so glad you have such wonderful memories of your grandpa.

    The picture from your wedding is simply beautiful!!

    Lots of love to you,
    Linda

  23. Oh Rachel, I’m so sorry.

    This post was a lovely tribute to an incredible man. We all can only hope that at 93 we still have the light in our eyes as you described in your Dee.

    Once again, I am sorry for your lose. ((hugs))

  24. I’m sorry to hear about your grandpa. I miss mine so much. Yours sounds like such a precious man.

    I love your wedding photo and can understand why it’s one of your favorites. 🙂

  25. I am so sorry to hear about your loss Rachel. I know how much that hurts. I am here if you need anything love.

  26. Oh, Rach, I’m so sorry your Dee is gone. But I’m so glad that you have such wonderful memories and stories to pass on to your kids.

    I’ve heard it said many times that the measure of a society is how well they treat their elderly.

    If we all held the respect and love for our elders that you hold for yours, we’d be in a much better place.

  27. Please accept my most sincere condolences on the loss of your grandfather. He sounds like a wonderful man.

  28. Hey you. So sorry to hear about the loss of your grandfather. I just lost mine right before Christmas. I’ll be thinking of you!

    XOXO

  29. My condolences to you and your family. We just went through this with my Father in-law, who passed away in his sleep on March 16th with the whole family around him.

    Holding onto your wonderful and joyous memories will surely help you deal with the sorrow and sadness. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  30. Aw, Rachel, I am so sorry. But you were very lucky to have had a wonderful man in your life. He sounds like a blast…

  31. So sorry to hear of your loss. Your grandfather sounded like such a great man, what a character!!! And sounds like you had a very special relationship with him.

  32. Dear Rachel,

    What a lovely tribute to your Grandfather and how cool is it that he was on Skype? 🙂 I hope all of the good times you shared together will bring you much you and happiness through your lifetime.

    My thoughts and prayers are with your family.

    Much love, xoxo-pm

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