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Monday, November 2, 2009

Touched Ya Last!

My wise, sweet, gentle, loving, generous, kind, funny, goofy, strong, spiritual, intelligent, perfectly white-haired grandpa died this morning.

He has been living with my mom for several months now. Its been so great to be able to see him when I'd go visit her. Although his body was failing him, he still had witty comments to throw out. He kept me on my toes while I was growing up, and still did near the end of his life!

I had the privelege of growing up just a few blocks from my grandparent's house. He would come and take me and my brother and sister on early Sunday morning walks. We'd eat dinner at their house often, and he would ALWAYS quiz us about things as we sat around the table. I dreaded that part because I wanted him to think I was smart, and I didn't always know the answer to his questions. I think that's where I learned to have a witty retort back... at least I could make him laugh if I didn't know the answer!

He did things in ways only grandpa could. He'd open the carton of ice cream and slice it, placing large rectangle shaped pieces in each ice cream cone. Who else does that?! His favorite ice cream was always maple nut. When he'd immitate a dog barking, he wouldn't say "ruff... ruff..." He'd say, "Booo Woooo Woooo". He was always quoting poetry he'd learned in school growing up. I don't know how he could keep so many words in his brain! I sure couldn't! He didn't even whistle like other people. His whistle was more a tuneful whisper, but he was ALWAYS doing it while working in the yard or fixing a broken part. I will forever hear that in my head.

One Christmas Eve he and grandma stayed at our house. As we hung up our stockings we laughed at his and grandma's- they were REAL socks. Long ones! And grandpa's had a big hole in the toe, under which he'd placed a large bowl. "Grandpa! Your stocking has a hole in the toe!" I'd exclaimed. He responded, "Yes. You see, when Santa fills it up, he will just keep filling and filling and filling it because it will never get full!" Always so clever!

I never EVER heard him raise his voice in anger. He loved singing "The Bluebird" and "Ring, Ring Happy Bells". He was an accomplished jeweler, and patiently helped me learn how to change a watch battery. He was always helping people in need- bring "strays" home for dinner often. My grandpa was such a good example of how a Christlike person should live.

I will miss him so much. His favorite game was "touched ya last." He'd try to touch us just as we walked out the door and say "touched ya last", then get away so we couldn't touch him last. What a wonderful grandpa I had. I will miss you, Grandpa. I love you! Say hi to Grandma for me- I miss her so much, too. And remember, pick out a good one for us, K?

Touched ya last!!!!


Whit said...

I love you Erin! You are in my thoughts often and I will be sure to say a prayer for you and your family!

Lauren said...

I had forgotten about the Christmas Stockings! I am so thankful for the happy, funny memories we have of him.

Jess said...

Our family are fans of the touched ya last too! Your gramps sounds awesome! I'm sorry he passed away.

Ryan and Shannan Hoffman said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your sweet grandpa. :( He sounds amazing.

elliespen said...

Love this. Christmas Eve will never be quite the same, will it?

The Parkin Family said...

Thanks for your comment on my blog. I'm glad I'm not the only one who tuned Grandpa out! And, I'm sorry, but Grandma died 7 years ago, a year after my marriage. I got married in 2001 and she died in 2002. Time goes by fast!

The Parkin Family said...

You're a princess in my world too! I'm still the girl who cleans the floors and windows all day in shabby clothes hoping someday I'll become a princess too.

Jen said...

I am so sorry about your Grandpa, Erin. He sounds we all know where you get it from!