Death. It’s inevitable. Everyone knows its coming. Yet, it’s something we so easily forget about in our daily lives. Deaths can be unexpected or predictable. Sadly, people die everyday. Newborn babies to the elderly. Even when you’re expecting it, you can never fully prepare for it. Death is just apart of life. It’s what we’re already registered to do when our time is done. With the joys of life comes the sorrow of death. Every now and then, people’s time on this earth is cut way too short and sometimes even the oldest of people aren’t ready to let go either. I mean, who is ready? Death is a scary improbable unknown and no matter how knowledgeable you may be, you can never be ready. There is so many what ifs circling around death? Could I have done anything to prolong his time here on earth? Am I ready to accept this? Was he in pain or content? And most importantly, did they know how many people loved them throughout their life? We sure wish they did.
After a long determined willingness to survive, my Grandpa Dick passed away yesterday, October 13th, 2011. He was 94 years old. A father, a grandfather, life-partner and friend, who were admired by many, left his signature and imprint on all he had meet. He endured what no human should ever have to live through. Hell. When he signed up to defend our country, he never imagined he would be a Prisoner of War for 3 ½ years, As a WWII vet, I never heard him complain about what he’d been through and he never felt bad for himself. He lived his life with love for life, dignity, loyalty and a smile accompanied by laughter, always resting on his face.
My Grandpa’s quote: "I always wonder why I am still alive, when so many others did not make it.”
His last few weeks of life, we’re the hardest on his family. He was declining quickly. Knowing that he wouldn’t be here much longer was a fate we couldn’t accept. We thought we were prepared for it, but it’s something you can never be completely emotionally ready for. It hurts just as much as when it is unexpected. The feeling is unknowing and empty.
Grandpa, I speak for your whole family; your daughters, Sue and Kathy, their husbands, John and Kent, your 4 grandchildren, Rick, Laura, Kate and I, and you’re other half, Peg, that you were our family rock, a simple man with so much wisdom and love to share. You will be remembered for your heroic sacrifices, your love for life, your famous one-liners, and the 94 years of memories you have shared with so many. You were the greatest Man I have ever known and I am lucky and honored to call you MY Grandpa.
I am at ease knowing that you are smiling down on us and that you are finally at peace. I am forever grateful to have spent 22 years with you as my Grandpa. I will cherish the wisdom you have taught me, the laughter we have shared and love you have shown us. You were by far, the greatest Grandpa, most admirable man and most importantly a praiseworthy person. I miss you Grandpa, and even though you were 94 years young, that wasn’t long enough. I love you Grandpa, forever and always.
Grandpa Dick---June 20th, 1917- October 13th, 2011
Keep smiling Grandpa. You’re pretty when you smile.