Gramps (my Papa) is now in Heaven. He got what most of us are wishing and praying for; a long life and to go in our sleep painlessly. If ever a man deserved it, it was him. We were all the better for having him in our lives.
I have so many wonderful memories of him. It seems so many of them revolve around meals that we shared as a family and his quirks with food. If you ever spent a meal with him, you knew he hated vinegar, mustard, onions, salad dressings. Did I mention vinegar ("I don't even want to be in the same state with vinegar")? He loved mashed potatoes, bread and butter, peanut butter, ice cream, ice cream (he loved it so much that it needed being said twice), and candy. He also never, NEVER, came to a family get together without a bag of junk food or candy for the kids. They LOVED getting his ziploc baggies of gummy worms and teddy grahams.
He had two daughters, four grand daughters, two great-grand daughters, and one great grandson. If you don't think he was just a bit excited when I called him with the news about Sam then you are mistaken. There was nothing more that made him happy than us, his family. He was biased when it came to us and thought no one was prettier, smarter, or more perfect than we were. I could be wearing jeans and sneakers and he would comment like I was something special. I loved hearing him tell me I was beautiful but it made my heart beam even more when he said it to my girls.
I don't think many people my age have had the pleasure of knowing their grandparents as adults. I'm blessed with these years that I've had with him and that he got to know and love my children.
I am not quite sure what I'm going to do without him and how I am going to get through his service later this week. Seeing these pictures feels really wonderful and hurts all at the same time. No one will ever call me their "Gold dust twin" again. No one will ever call me "beautimus" again. No one will ever call Sam a "brat" and it be a term of endearment again. Well, maybe they will.
My heart is so heavy right now for me, but not for him. He wasn't feeling good and wasn't happy about it and wouldn't have wanted to hang around like that. I rejoice at the end of his suffering and his entrance into Heaven. But I miss him.
I love you Papa.