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.
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.