It’s been a hard week. My grandpa was put into Hospice at home this week at his lake house in Copperopolis, California. As his health began to deteriorate and his moments of clarity waned. I asked my aunt to read this to him and show him the most recent pictures of my family. I am dismayed I waited to say these things... that we leave so many things unsaid to our friends and to our family.
My Grandpa and I would talk every Christmas, he was a man a few words. Being so far away for all these years makes it hard to voice my pain of his loss without feeling some twinge of guilt that we didn’t see each other more often.
After grad school, I spent a week with him, this is about 10 years ago. It was during September, baseball was in full swing and the A’s were on the cusp of a playoff position. We spent each night watching baseball with very few words between us, besides, “good play” and “what a hit” and “dummy!” My mother said, I have a lot of his attributes, my height being the most glaring. Below is what I wrote to my Grandpa, things I wanted him to hear, things that I have gleaned from him, his life and now pass on to my girls.
A few of the things you’ve past down to me and my family:
1. Lake fun is the best fun. My memories of boating, fishing, swimming and kneeboarding have always been the memories quick to draw a smile. Thank you for showing us how to have fun in the water.
2. Grit - I always look to my mother’s work ethic and her attribution of that ethic back to you as one of my greatest strengths. It’s what drove me in sports, to always be the best I could be and work harder then the rest. Thank you for passing that onto my mom.
3. Your love of baseball and the Oakland A’s. I will cherish my memories of watching or listening to the games with you as I was growing up. It’s the little things that influence us, and this was a big one for me.
4. Your service. Both in the fire department and at mass, I have always tried to emulate your service... even in the small things like setting up chairs and greeting people as they are. Thank you for this gift.
Love you Grandpa. And thank you. Thank you for being you, for being my mom’s dad, and my grandpa.