DEPARTMENTS

Saturday, October 1, 2011

R.I.P. Gramps

Yesterday, at around noon, my grandfather passed away due to complications from a recent stroke. He was 86 years old. He had lived a long, good life, having survived and recovered from polio still able to lead an active life. He had worked for the Corps of Engineers and was part of several projects that helped build this country up.

Gramps was always a larger than life figure to me. I spent many summers with him as a child and every one of those times was pure magic. We did a lot together and I'll never forget it. It was Gramps who taught me how to swim like a fish. There were road trips, country markets, afternoons on the patio eating cold cuts and sipping cool drinks. If not for Gramps, I'd never have seen our nation's capital, visited Bull Run, Gettysburg, toured the Pentagon or walked through the amazing halls of the Smithsonian. But it was so much more than just trips.

Gramps was the sort of man who never seemed angry. He always had a smile and the most level temper. There was a whimsy to him that seemed to defy his years. I remember he used to get to know and name the humming birds that visited the feeder on his patio. I always loved hearing about a bullying Ruby Throat named "Nasty McAsty".

I think it is safe to say that Gramps is one of the reasons I am who I am. Never having had a strong male figure in my life, I think that in many ways I may have latched on to many of his examples without knowing it. Heck, it was Gramps who took me to my very first Star Wars movie and then to as many of the later ones as he could. His favorite was Empire Strikes Back.

Later in life I didn't see Gramps as much as I should have, but my love for him never diminished. I am sad that he passed without me being able to be more of a part of his life. Somehow, I know he understands and that he would never begrudge me my absence.

I love you Gramps...

15 comments:

  1. Eli I am sorry for you losing your grandfather. My grandfather was really the hero in my life as well so I am with you man. Sending prayers your way.

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  2. Remember the good times and treasure those memories.

    Thoughts and prayers with you in your time of need.

    Andrew

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  3. Eli, I'm sorry for your loss. It sounds like your Gramps was a special man.

    Thoughts and prayers are with you.

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  4. What a wonderful tribute you just gave! Thanks for sharing the love of a grandson for his grandpa.

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  5. I never knew either of my grandfathers, as with the others here I'm sorry for your loss. Keep thinking of the good stuff.

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  6. Eli, I am truly sorry to hear this, and to know you lost some one who helped make you who you are. I have had a loss in sep of my best friend/brother inlaw, and I know how it hurts.

    Noel

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  7. My condolences. That was a fitting tribute to a good man who lived life fully. He will live on in the cherished memory of his family.

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  8. My condolences. This is a very moving tribute. Don't forget the good stuff as Iam sure you wont. Take care my blog friend.

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  9. My condolences to you and your family.

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  10. Thoughts are with you at this time. seemed like a very good man. My condolences

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  11. Sorry to hear that, kind of ironic that I just got a call about my Grandmother passing, trying to keep my mind elsewhere so I hit my blogging community. I hope peace finds you and yours during this hard time. RIP Gramps.

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  12. Eli,

    So sorry for your loss, my friend. I remember when I lost my granddaddy (and yes, I called him Gramps, too) and I still miss him even though its been 15 years.

    Remember the good stuff, though. I do.

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  13. You folks are all great. The loss of my grandfather has hit me harder than I expected.

    I knew it was coming, but there is are a multitude of emotions that are working their way to the surface as I process it.

    Thank you all for your kind words. Remembering the good will be no trouble as I never saw any bad in my Gramps, ever.

    -Eli

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  14. My condolences about your grandfather. He sounds like an amazing man. :)

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