I wrote about my grandfather a couple of weeks ago with the mindset that he was getting better. Sadly that just was not Gods plan. He went to be with The Lord on July 25th and we laid him to rest July 30th.
So much has happened and not happened. We had to cancel Gracie’s 1st birthday party obviously. But I had already made enough food to feed 30 people so I packed up all the food and drove it down south to feed my very sad family. We rescheduled her party for August 16th but we scaled it back also.
The funeral was beautiful if a funeral can be described that way. My grandfather had a full military service. There were flowers galore and delicious food in between the wakes and after the funeral my grandmother invited anyone who wanted to join us at an italian restaurant. Over 50 people showed to the restaurant. People came from all over the US to pay respects. Tim made an awesome video of his life in pictures. Me and my sisters made peanut butter cookies for anyone who came to take home. They were grandpas favorite cookie.
Timmy kept telling everyone that P-pa was sleeping and kept shhhing everyone. It was the sweetest when out of no where he went and sat on my grandmothers lap and touched her face and told her P-pa was sleeping.
Timmy even put a hot wheels car in the casket.
I wrote and read my entire eulogy. I practiced at least 100 times trying to get through it without crying. I really didn’t think I could do it. Afterward I drove home in such a daze wondering if I did a good enough job. There were just so many great things to say about him and I wasn’t sure if I got my point across.
It’s very weird when someone dies. I don’t feel like he’s gone. I can still hear him talking. My faith in God is so strong that I truly feel happy for him that he can now rest and be where there is only happiness. A dear friend said to me on the day he died that Heaven is so wonderful and beautiful that it is said if they had the choice they would not come back here. I believe that with all my heart.
My poor grandmother. She looks great, better than ever really. But her eyes are empty. I’m going to be bringing the kids to visit her often to try to lift her spirits. What a gift for them to spend time with there great grandmother.
For those who don’t know me, my name is Laura or Beanie was what my Grandpa called me. My mother June asked me to say a few words.
My grandfather was a very special man and I don’t just say that because he was my own. He was an old school gentleman with a heart of gold and the patience of a saint. He was the kind of man you could always depend on.
My earliest memories of him are at the bright blue house in West Babylon with the whole family getting together for dinners eating in the garage, with all of us cousins running circles around the house. Grandpa was an expert gardener and took a lot of pride in his landscaping. I can still hear him grumbling, “these damn kids” as he tried to salvage the flower beds that me and my cousins had just jumped into. He never lost the love for flowers and was always bringing Jessica his newest favorite plant.
No one will forget that hideous orange brownish van he drove around in, with us kids rolling around in the back, no seatbelts or even SEATS for that matter and Charlie by our side. That dog went everywhere with him. Grandpa was a closet dog lover. If you asked him if he liked dogs he would cringe and say NO! But then there he was, snuggled up on the couch with Uncle Steven’s dog and we have the pictures to prove it.
Everyone knows Grandpa was famous for his popcorn balls. Every Christmas with the tables covered in wax paper and loads and loads of popcorn and syrup. We did them all the way up until 3 years ago. Turns out even though we were all grown up, Grandpa was still the only one strong enough to make popcorn balls that didn’t just fall apart. So we made a huge mess and ended up just watching Grandpa do all the work.
He was so talented with wood. I remember watching him in his basement workshop in awe of his masterpieces. He would work and I would build sandcastles with all the saw dust. And now my daughter reads her little books in the rocking chair he built for my brother.
Last time he was at my house he brought Timmy his first set of hot wheels cars and now Timmy is obsessed and even sleeps with them.
Of all the memories we have, I think we can all agree that the summers spent at the Lake House were our favorite and we have Grandpa to thank for that. To think that he built that house with his own two hands is amazing and something that is totally unheard of these days. I think most of us in this room learned to fish on that dock with Grandpa hooking our worms and unhooking all the sunfish we caught. He oncetold me that when he bought that piece of land,he was terrified to come home and tell Grandma about it.
And that brings me to the greatest thing about Grandpa. The love he had for Grandma was something out of a fairytale. They are married 61 years and are the perfect example of what marriage is supposed to look like. When I was visiting Grandma in rehab a few weeks ago I got to see it first-hand. In walked grandpa with hisvery happy boyish smile, his trucker hat half way pushed down like he always had it and of course his huge cup of ice. He sat down next to grandma, got real close to her, gently grabbed her hand, kissed it and said, “How are you feeling today dear?” She smiled and said, “I missed you.” It was like they were in their own little bubble of love. And with them it was always that way.
For at the end of the wake:
Every Christmas we make peanut butter blossom cookies. Well Grandpa hated chocolate but loved peanut butter cookies so we always made a few plain ones just for him. We made some of those for all of you here so please take some on your way out.