Tuesday, January 4, 2011

It's been 5 nights since this world lost this beautiful sweet man.  I'm sure you all heard about it.  That sound that you heard of sweet singing in your ears last Thursday night.....that was the sound of 10,000 angels welcoming Rob's grandpa home!!   
We said a final goodbye last night & following is my tribute to him.  It is an honor to write of him in such a way that makes my heart so happy to have known & loved him.  

This place may not be filled with an endless number in attendance, standing room only, flowing into the halls.  However it is not due to lack of a life lived well or of love not given.  It is only because few have seen as many days.

I have come to realize that it is sometimes more beautiful to watch someone leave this world than to enter into it.  To be able to speak final words, pray final prayers & hold hands for one last time is more worthy of celebration when it is someone like grandpa.

I don’t call him that because of blood.  Because of lineage or genetics but by choice.  I call him that because he WAS that to me.  And he allowed me to love him that way.

I only hear stories of decades lived before I was blessed to know him.

I can’t tell you of boyish dreams or games played with him in the streets of New York as he grew into a young man.  I can’t relive moments of teenage rebellion.  I can’t reflect back to when he met the love of his life or the day he married her or  speak of the feelings that he had when he watched his children come into this world.

I can’t look back & speak of piggyback rides or corporate meetings.  Of bowling leagues & bridge club partnership.

I may not have been there for the best days of HIS life but I CAN tell you, without a doubt, that he was there for some of the best of mine.

There are very few people in this world that will even allow you to love them so much.  That welcome you with such lingering tenderness, the warmest smile & with a spirit so deep with gratitude for what I saw as the most insufficient of deeds but to him meant incalculable love.   Grandpa was that, for me. 

He delighted in what we would consider to be trivial things, yet to him, it was unconditional love poured out.  The making of a meal & the sharing of many.  Watching his great-grandchildren play & laugh.  Spending time together from the beaches in Cozumel to taking a canoe ride through the rainforests in Costa Rica.  Being there to walk me down the aisle when I married his very handsome & wonderful grandson.  

Witnessing his tired arthritic hands as they held tightly to the great-grandchildren that are so blessed to have had a chance to meet & be loved by him.  Enjoying countless glasses of scotch with his grandson that he adored more than words can say.  Taking him to Rockies games & and watching him as he enjoyed a nice cold beer.  And laughing at him & with him on countless occasions.  Watching he & Denise battle the surf in St. Marteen while she tried to keep his speedo on.  Seeing him work in tireless effort to keep up with his grandson while he tried drinking his way through Cozumel. 

Explaining to him that, although a lovely gesture, buying each of our kids a Kindle for Christmas probably wouldn’t be worth it, since none of them can read yet.  Being there the first time he saw a chocolate fondue fountain.  And laughing hysterically when he proceeded to stick his entire arm through it, chocolate dripping from as far up as his elbow, because he didn’t know that he just needed to gently dip the strawberries.  (I think a few people just walked away without getting any that evening)

Grandpa gave us reason to slow down.  Sometimes, because well, he was just slower than the rest of us.  More times however, it was because the things of this world that tend to make us rush became secondary to caring for him, loving on him & spending time with this wonderful, quiet sweet man that we are all blessed to have known & loved.

As I said, I am not standing here to tell of lifelong memories but to honor him for what I did get to be a part of.  A life, in it’s time, that made me a better person.  Each of us here today have been made better because of him & may you walk into this world with a little bit of the light that grandpa gave to all of us.

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