My grandfather died last night in his sleep. This was not unexpected–he’d been ill for quite some time, and ever since my grandmother died, he hadn’t really been the same. Add to that the fact that his two sons preceded him in death, and there were a lot of people on the other side he likely wanted to see and be around. So while I’m sad to hear that he died, I’m grateful it didn’t take longer than it did. It’s hard seeing someone you know and love slowly wasting away.
In any case, I thought I’d take a minute and write what I know and remember about him. These certainly aren’t all the memories I have of him, but they’re the ones that come to mind at the moment. I’ll be flying out for the funeral tomorrow, and I’m not sure how much I’ll be on the internet between now and next Wednesday. Try to get by without me. Anyway–on to the memories.
I remember going over to his house when I was little. He lived in Payson, and they were just down the street from the big park in the middle of the city. My brother and sister and I would walk down there and swing or slide or monkey around while my mom visited with her parents. Sometimes we’d get treats from the bakery on main street. Grandpa loved to garden, and he always had a well kept garden at his house. He liked to show off what he’d grown and give it to guests to eat. I remember at the time finding that fairly unique. I didn’t know a lot of people who gardened that seriously. Of course, now in Maine, I seem to be surrounded by gardeners. Grandpa would have fit in well here.
I remember visiting him and his wife when they went on a mission to Kentucky. I remember them driving out east to visit us one year. In their car, grandma had made a garbage bag-sized batch of popcorn, and they’d been munching on it as they crossed the states. That was pretty cool, I thought. Grandma and Grandpa served two other church missions.
I remember going to parades with him. Onion Days in Payson–never an event to be missed. He was an avid BYU fan and Jazz fan, and he loved to talk about how the teams were doing, and did his best to watch all the games. Before I left on my mission to Germany, I had a blue sports jacket he admired. I gave it to him when I left–it fit him so nicely, and I wasn’t going to be able to wear it. He seemed very tickled.
I remember visiting him at his job at school. I found it strange to think that I was related to someone who actually worked at a school. I’m not sure why I thought that, now.
I remember one time when he came out to visit us in the east, he suggested we go out to eat at a hamburger joint he’d liked before: Fuddruckers. Only thing was, he switch the syllables around a bit by accident, ending up wtih Rudd . . . you can do the rest. I found it very amusing.
I remember going on a road trip to southern Utah with him and my grandma and mom. We ate sandwiches in Spring City. He loved touring small towns and seeing how things used to be. His house is filled with antiques and Native American items. He collected them avidly and was very proud of all of them.
I remember how faithfully he stood by his wife after she had a stroke and had to be put in a care center–the same care center he then volunteered at, and then ended up in himself a few weeks ago. He was a great example of love and devotion, and one I hope to be able to live up to myself.
Grandpa could be stern, commanding, jovial, fun loving, caring, wise, confused, concerned–you name it.
He will be missed.