Thursday, February 16, 2012


It's crazy that sometimes even when you know that something is going to happen, that it needs to happen, it still makes it hard when it actually does happen. My grandpa has been living in a care center for the past 18 months battling Alzheimer's. It has been hard for all of us to see him like that, not really being able to communicate or really knowing what is going on. It has been hard for us to see our Grandma not wanting to leave his side, missing him, and wanting to see him have some recollection of his life and memories. Last week he caught pneumonia and my grandmother knew that he probably wouldn't have much longer to live. So, we have all been prepared for this and have known that it was coming, but when I got the call that he had passed away Monday morning, it still didn't make it a lot easier to take.

I am glad that I had the opportunity to grow up knowing my grandpa. I so many good memories of him and the time that we were able to spend together. He was a great man who loved his family. He always treated Grandma with respect and showed all of us through his example how to be a good person. I am so glad for the man that he raised my dad to be, and in turn for how that influenced how I was able to be raised.

He has left quite a legacy: six children, twenty-eight grandchildren, and thirteen great-grandchildren. Grandpas was a teacher for many years and instilled the importance of education in all of us.  In his family there are 27 Bachelor's degrees and counting, 6 Master's degrees, and 2 almost PHD's. Members of his family speak German, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, French, Marshallese, Albanian, and American Sign Language.

Thinking about my grandpa this week and his life, has made me step back and think about my own life; both the things that I want to change and the things that I need to keep doing. I hope that someday I will be able to leave a legacy for my family like he has. He was just a week shy of his 83rd birthday, and from my perspective, it seems like they were 83 years well lived. He loved hunting, fishing, and being outdoors. He loved fixing things, computers, and reading. He was great at quietly teaching his family the things that he believed in.

I am thankful that Grandpa is no longer suffering, that is now in a place where he can actually know what is going on and remember things about his family and about his life. I am thankful for the knowledge that I have that even though his life on earth is over, that his life really isn't over and that we will all be able to be with him again someday. So, Grandpa, thank you for everything that you taught me, and thank you for always making me feel loved and important. We all love you and will miss you until we can see you again someday.


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