My grandpa passed away last week. He was a truly incredible man who raised 9 children, welcomed 30 grandchildren into the world, and shared life lessons and words of wisdom all along the way. When he told a story, he was able to hush the entire room, a difficult feat with as many family members as we have, because everyone wanted to hear what he had to say. He was 84 years old and would have been married to the love of his life for 60 years this fall. Yes, 6-0. I heard him say more than once that he had absolutely no regrets and his happiest moment was when he was with the family he created. He was an observer and you could often see him leaning back at the head of the famous kitchen table we gather around, listening and just being proud of the people sitting around him.
I have often said that if I could find a love even a fraction of what he and my grandma shared that I would be so grateful. It was hard to say good bye to him but even harder to watch my grandma do so. She patted his cheek like she so often did and told him how he didn't even realize how many lives he had touched. I was lucky to have had him in my life and will always think of him as I appreciate the simple things in life, just as he did.
Being home this past weekend reminded me of how much I love and cherish my family, how lucky I am to be blessed with so many people who love me, and how I truly love my roots and where I come from. My grandpa left quite the legacy, so many memories and stories. I am blessed to have had him in my life and was so blessed to have been able to call him grandpa.