I've been thinking a lot the past week about how I was going to address this. I'm not usually one to mention sad or very personal things very often on my blog--though I have mentioned in the past the importance of this because it helps other people know they aren't alone in certain situations. But today I want to talk about my grandpa, who we just recently said our last goodbyes too.
My grandpa was one of the most amazing men I've ever met (my family is full of amazing men). Why is it that the most amazing people are the ones the world knows nothing about? I wish everyone could have known my grandpa the way he was--the way I hope I can remember. He was quiet, patient, and thoughtful. I think in my life I only heard him raise his voice once. He was a WWII veteran, spending his time in the war in the Pacific. He met my grandma his first week at BYU, and she made sure to snatch him up quick! I don't blame her, he was a very handsome guy. He raised three kids, of which my dad was the second. I remember him once saying that when he met my grandma's father, he realized for the first time that he could have a job doing what he loved. So he studied industrial education, eventually getting his doctorate and becoming the Chair of that department at BYU.
I don't know much about woodworking, but I like to think of my grandpa as a master craftsman. He was precise and careful. And he loved to teach. He spent two years in Ethiopia teaching at a university. And he taught my dad, uncle, several of his grandkids, nephews, and great nephews. I have this feeling that his shop door was always open, because I remember going in and sitting on his stools and playing with his vises which were attached to his workbench. I also remember sweeping up sawdust, with that faint smell of cherry.
I'm part of his legacy and I hope that I am a good example of what his life was.
When I was told that he died, of course I was sad, because he was my grandpa, but I also felt comforted. He had had Alzheimer's (that awful, awful disease) for the past ten years. I really feel like I have been mourning him for the past four years--about the time he forgot who I was. He had become a prisoner of his own mind and the comfort I felt was from the knowledge that he was free and whole again. I am so glad of my knowledge of life after death! A place where there is no more suffering, and there is perfection. And that he is part of my eternal family, and I will be able to see him again.
I don't really feel that my words are sufficient to say what I meant to say. A week of thought apparently wasn't enough.