I lost my grandfather this Sunday. It was a blessing -- he was 100 and ready to go be with all of his other loved ones. We had him for so long, it felt selfish to keep him. But in all seriousness, he was my favorite person on this planet. He spoiled me from the time I was born. Never put me down as a baby, bought me my first purse (my first memory of money) -- it was an Indian medicine bag from Arizona. I wish I still had it.
He got into my first fashion argument. He wanted me to buy the green dress. I wanted the purple one. I won this one (I'm in it in my kindergarten picture.) He took me fishing, undid all the knots I created in the fishing lines. He taught me how to use all the tools in his shed (even though he thought girls belonged in the kitchen -- so did my grandma, I just never took to the domestic arts.)
He spoiled each one of my children as if they were me. He was a second father to my cousins and me and so many others. He had a profound impact on the world just by being kind. He was the kindest man you ever met and never had an enemy. I will miss him profoundly, but how could I be so selfish as to keep him any longer?
I know he is with Jesus and hearing, "Well done, my good and faithful servant."
This is how he started life. The first born in Ekalaka, Montana at the family homestead. That's the actual picture. He was one of twelve children.
He lived on 19th Street in San Francisco before there was a Golden Gate Bridge. He was drafted at 29, with two children, for WWII. He helped rebuild Japan. He set up a good life in Menlo Park, California where he built his own house. I love the mortgage. It is literally the size of a postcard and says, he owes this much money. Think of that and your own mortgage statement after the lawyers got through with California and men of honor started to disappear.
Truly, anyone who knew him was blessed. To be a favorite, beyond compare. He and I had a bond that will never go away. I am so grateful. He waited for my mom to come that day and while we were on the way home, they called us and let us know he had passed. I love that about him. He wasn't leaving until we came and said goodbye that day. He was an amazing man. We were blessed.