I had the privilege of speaking at my Grandpa’s funeral on March 13th, 2019. I knew it would not be easy to get through my words, but I knew in the weeks following if I did not, I would feel regret for not saying what I wanted people to know about my Grandpa.
Thank You all For coming. It means a lot for my Grandma and my family
Grandma has said that Grandpa and I have a special relationship………… I don’t know how that developed but it may have been something to do with being the only nearby Grand daughter……, that we liked the same things……., Frozen snickers and card playing, …….or because we just clicked………………………
We always would give each other a bad time out of fun, but we knew when the other was having a bad day……………………….
We always were able to play cards to make each other feel better. No matter what playing cards always picked up our moods and gave us an opportunity for a laugh…… I mean hearing him say 8 just to keep small bids out always made me chuckle………………………………………… When we were little it was playing 31, then learning 4 and 10 point pitch, but my favorite was playing RUMMY, because it was just Grandpa and me. He was a little competitive in a good way and didn’t just let you win, you did have to work for it. ……………
While he patiently taught us 4 and 10 point pitch and even after we learned….. he would say “You Need to Bid to Win” ……… We think what he really ment was…. You have to take a chance in life”
Grandpa loved family.
He loved holidays, especially Christmas and Birthdays.
he always maned the soup to make sure it didn’t burn,
enjoyed watching us kids to try and guess what presents we were getting as we shook and shook them to hear a rattle,
or this last year enjoyed a game of reindeer ring toss on his head. I would watch him as we opened presents and he would smile at our excitement.
He loved when he saw his Great Grand kids.
They would get a thrill from him chasing them in his Wheely Chair, playing catch,
lining up Dominoees as fence or towers
or playing a competitive game of checkers or slap jack.
Grandpa loved to travel.
He took to the road whenever he and Grandma were able.
The last few years the road may have only led them to a nearby casino or on a day trip to drive through McDonalds to grab lunch to go sit at the park and watch the ducks.
I was fortunate enough to travel with them on some of their adventures.
We would take the highway most of the time because Grandpa said “ There is nothing to see on the interstate”.
There also was many times they would stop at the same places, but there were a couple times they would say they couldn’t find a certain tourist stop they had seen before because they weren’t sure where it was because they always took a different route.
Grandpa definitely made the most out of everything.
He got to a point where gardening became harder and harder
so as the years went by the garden got smaller and smaller,
but he would still plant his tomoatoe seeds in the house so he could watch them sprout in the little plastic containers to replant in the garden later.
Many times during winter and the snow was blowing we would go over to Grandma and Grandpas were they would be baking cinnamon rolls to go with the chilly.
I can still see him rolling out that dough and slicing them up.
He also made great Buttered Popcorn on the STOVE
and he always helped Grandma with peeling potatoes for potatoe salad or stirring a patch of cookies.
He found himself even in the kitchen helping a great grand kid make spaghetti.
When my dad had a severe accident several years ago Grandpa made sure that us kids were able to get up to Omaha to be with my Mom and Dad.
Grandpa let my dad use his pants to transport from one hospital to the other.
Grandpa would give his shirt off his back for his family or in that instance his pants.
He gave me my first driving lesson. Grandma and Grandpa had parked by my parents garden and Grandma had walked to our house.
So I sat in the drivers seat to talk.
And he said “Well drive it to the house”
I had no idea how to drive except maybe a lawn mower.
He gave me instructions
“press the brake”
my response “which one is that” the left.
Move it to the R and so on.
He gave me instructions calmly and with no concern or worry that I would be unable to do it.
I guess he trusted me to go that ½ a block.
Grandpa did trust us. He trusted his grand kids to help him clean out gutters, scoop snow, and take the trash out at Westgate, when he worked there. He trusted a Grandson with changing the oil in his car. He trusted his family to help build his house. Many family members hands went into building that house for him.
As you can see there are many stories that tell you about the kind of Grandpa he was. Patient, Fun, trusting and loving,
I have no doubt that each and everyone of you in this room have a story of your own and probably had at least one where he made you smile or laugh.
But as I found myself writing this I found that there are so many little things and this was just a taste of the memories and moments that made Grandpa Grandpa. That made him the man he was.
One of the last things he told me was “sometimes you just have to smile”
Thank you Grandpa for your I Love Yous, hugs and time you spent with us.
I hope we continue to make you smile.
Rest in Peace.
I love you very much.