This past weekend, we held a service for my Grandpa Roy, who passed away a few weeks ago.
No matter how you slice it, memorial services are a strange thing. On one hand, you’re sad, and reflective, you miss the person you knew and are taking in what it means that they are no longer around. On the other hand, you’re remembering them and sharing these memories with loved ones in this great, communal, act- and you’ll catch yourself laughing a lot.
Saturday was a very powerful experience for me, because it demonstrated in so many ways what a great individual my Grandpa was, and how lucky I was to have known him. I loved hearing all these people telling stories about him- how he balanced his wild, trouble-maker side with an incredible work ethic and moral code.
My Grandpa taught me many things. He always kept a list of things to do every day, and made sure, if you happened to catch him in a moment of rest, to let you know all the things he had already done that day to deserve a break. He was an avid reader, and not only averaged 4 books a week, but also managed to read every book in the Lincoln City library. He loved a good laugh, and was a wonderful storyteller. And he was a man you could respect, and whose respect in return felt like a special accomplishment.
Thanks to him, I know the value of hard, honest work. I see where you can get yourself when you pull yourself up by your bootstraps. He always made a point of “doing things his way.”
Not a lot of people can say they grew up next door to their grandparents, and while I feel sad to have lost him, I feel so lucky to have known him as well as I was able to.