Thursday, April 7, 2011

'Till We Meet Again

Behold, it has been made known unto me by an angel, that the spirits of all men, as soon as they are departed from this mortal body, yea, the spirits of all men, whether they be good or evil, are taken home to that God who gave them life.

And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of those who are righteous are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow. –Alma 40:11–12

{December 28, 1927 – April 7, 2011}
My Grandpa passed away sometime during the night. I'm a little bit sad. But I'm also a little bit happy that he has been released from all the health problems that have plagued him for so many years. And I'm sure he's in a better place. I'm not sure what you believe about life and death and where we came from, but I believe that before we came to earth we lived as a family with a loving Father in Heaven. I believe that when we die, we are greeted by that same loving Father. There may be accounts to settle, but I think those are set aside for a time when we are called back home because, because no matter what we've done in this life, that doesn't lessen the love that He feels for us and I'm sure He is happy to see us. I think that the celebration wouldn't be complete without family and friends; perhaps my Grandpa's father came to meet him, and I hope his mother and his wife, my Grandma, were also there to greet him.

{Betty & Homer
June 12, 1946}
While I'm sure there was a joyful reunion in Heaven today, those of us who are left behind mourn the loss of someone special. Grandpa will be missed. As I mentioned, there are mixed emotions. Grandpa lead a long, full life. He faced his share of difficulties and trials. He began to lose his eyesight at the age of 18. He suffered with gout as an adult. As the years passed, he relied more and more on my Grandma to take care of his needs. He's done passably well taking care of himself since she passed away 7 years ago, but his health had really declined in the last few years. It is sad to see someone you love go from completely independent {regardless of his poor eyesight} to completely dependent.

{Betty & Homer
June 1996}
I've been thinking a lot about my Grandpa since I got the news this morning. Here are some fun things I remember about him. He was never afraid to speak his mind. He worked hard, he was frugal with his earnings, but enjoyed using them carefully to make life more comfortable. He kept everything in good repair around his home. He learned to work around his poor eyesight and the only thing he ever gave up because of it was his driver's license. I am the oldest grandchild, and when I got old enough to drive, my grandparents would have me drive them around sometimes. Grandma, who was the regular chauffeur, would ride in the back and Grandpa would sit in the passenger seat. If he thought I was driving a little too fast, he'd say, you pay your own tickets. If they went on a trip, which they often did, they would have me drive them to the airport and let me keep their car while they were gone. That is a lot of trust to put in a 16-year old.

You can't talk about Grandpa without thinking of Grandma too. She was the heart and Grandpa was the soul. He'd have an idea and they'd plan it together and she'd put into it {whatever it may have been} the love that they both had for life and each other and their family. They shared what they had with their family. They loved to travel and took their children and grandchildren on many trips with them. When I was in 5th grade, they took me and an aunt and we drove down to San Diego and went to the Zoo and Sea World. What I didn't know was that they'd planned a day in Disneyland, too and surprised me with it as we passed the sign on the freeway. It was a really wonderful trip. We went back to Disneyland in 1996, this time with all of my brothers and sisters and my parents and at least one aunt and some cousins. It was pretty spectacular.

Last year, when he was clearing out his house to be sold, he gave me my Grandma's china. It was a sweet gift from him that I will always treasure. I'm glad that I was able to do a couple of things for him in the last several months, including the quilt I sent to him in February.

Grandpa, say hello to Grandma for me, will you? I'll miss you. 'Till we meet again.

12 comments:

Impera_Magna said...

What a lovely tribute to your grandparents! My deepest sympathy to you and your family...

Marianne, aka Ranger Anna said...

Peace and blessings to your family.

quiltfool said...

My heart goes out to you Elizabeth, and to all your family. I like your perspective on your Grandparent's lives. Enjoy the memories. The pain will pass and they will be what is left to you. Lane

P. said...

You have my deepest sympathy on the loss of your grandpa, Elizabeth. He sounds like a wonderful man. I hope you continue to be comforted by your loving memories and the faith that you will see him again some day.

Shay said...

Elizabeth, I'm so sorry to hear this news. Your post today is a fitting tribute to all that you shared with your grandfather and your memories of him.

Thinking of you and your family.

Karen said...

Elizabeth, with tears in my eyes I feel like I know your grandparents. Such a lovely tribute you've put together. Aren't we blessed to have such special people in our lives. I give thanks for that each day. Bless you and take care.
Karen

pinksuedeshoe said...

This is a great post. If ever I am in need of a tribute I am calling you. Thinking about your family.

Angie said...

Very well written, I felt as though I was reading about my own grandfather, sounds like they would have liked each other. ;)

Long distance hugs going your way today.

Amber said...

What a sweet tribute. How comforting to know that he is back with his sweetheart and that you'll see him again.

Rhonda said...

so sorry Elizabeth. thoughts and prayers to you and your family.

Joyce said...

Beautiful, Elizabeth.

Iris said...

I'm so glad you got to have such a special relationship with your grandparents. And that he was able to enjoy the special quilt you made for him!