Friday, November 30, 2012

The world has lost 2 amazing souls

It really seems just like yesterday Grandma passed away, but it's already been 4 months.  Sadly and happily Grandma is reunited with Grandpa once again.  This morning (last night for Minnesotans) at 9:51am (8:21pm Minnesota time) my Grandpa joined my Grandma once again, as he passed away surrounded by family watching him go peacefully in his hospital bed.  And once again I was in India half way around the world, missing the final moments with my beloved Grandpa.  I was very thankful to have my dad pass on a final message from me via e-mail, but of course it's not the same as actually being at his side as he went.

My Grandpa and Grandma were the most caring, thoughtful, family oriented grandparents I have ever known.  Both Grandma and Grandpa went to EVERY single recital, game, concert, etc. that I played in.  Even if it was a minor role, if I was in it they were there.  And as family tradition, after it was done my Grandma always made chocolate covered rice krispie bars, cookies, or something sweet for me to have after it was finished.  My Grandma was the talker of the two.  She could entertain a crowd of 5 - 25+ people easily with her stories.  Grandma was never without a conversation lingering in her.  My Grandpa on the other hand did the listening.  He would always sit their quietly and listen to her stories and every once in a while chime in with a funny joke or missed detail (which was rare for Grandma to miss).  The thing about Grandpa though, yes he was a listener, but when he talked he was listened.  Everything coming from him was wise and genuine.  My Grandma was too, but mostly stories came from her.

Grandpa was completely opposite to Grandma when it came to me playing sports.  Grandpa would always encourage me, never to give up and if I fail to try even harder next time.  Grandma was the loving softy and was constantly worried I would get hurt and not to try too hard that I might hurt myself.  Football season was always the best time of year for them.  Grandma was constantly worrying and Grandpa (played in college) was prouder than ever.  When I first got into running marathons, Grandma would ALWAYS say, "Now Steven, there is no shame if you feel like you can't continue and have to give up during the marathon."  Grandpa (I could see in his head) would roll his eyes and counter what she said with a try your hardest and never give up attitude.  A real air force mentality was Grandpa (served WWII proudly).  Grandma also served proudly in WWII as a nurse, healing the wounded and cheering/lifting up spirits with her stories and distracting the men from their pain, Grandma's specialty.

Grandpa and I both shared a unique common bond no other member of the family shared, and that was the University of Minnesota Duluth.  However, when Grandpa attended it was called Duluth State Teachers College.  Showing how long ago that was!  Grandpa played collegiate baseball and football, while I played intramural inner tube water polo and dodgeball.  However, sports aside, we both went to college for the same reason/passion and that was teaching.  Granted our subjects might have been different (history to PE) but our passion lied within teaching and inspiring children.  Grandpa started off as a teacher, but then fast tracked his way to Superintendent.  I don't think I'll follow his footsteps anytime soon, as I love where I am and what I do.  I know what administration has to go through and no thank you, Grandpa you can keep that position.  But one thing I hope I can be half the man Grandpa was is having the respect from every single teacher that he worked with.  They looked up to Grandpa and Grandpa showed them the same amount of respect and care back at them.

My best memory I have of my grandparents would have to be in 6th grade.  Now back in my day at school, we celebrated Grandparents every year with "Grandparents Day."  Everyone who had Grandparents were invited to bring them along for the school day and have them see what mischief and trouble their grandchildren get into!  So on this one particular 6th grade Grandparents Day I maybe said a little too much, but in an innocent way.  The beginning of every Grandparents Day class would start with introductions of all the grandparents.  Well when it came to my turn, I remember I stood up and said, "These are my Grandparents, Grandma and Grandpa."  Now in addition to introducing them we had to say one interesting or unique thing about them.  Well I introduced them and then said, "Me and my Grandpa play blackjack and poker and he teaches me how to gamble with oreos/cookies.  I win most of the time, because I'm lucky."  The whole class burst out laughing, including my Grandparents.  Again, probably said a little too much, seeing at the time it was illegal!!:)  But the way my Grandparents reacted was who they were, caring, light hearted and amazing people.

I will and do miss them both dearly.  After Grandma died, I knew Grandpa was not going to last long, and even when I visited them this summer I knew Grandpa was not long.  Grandma was completely unexpected, but Grandpa's time was on the final turn in a marathon.  And sure enough today Grandpa crossed the finish line, leaving in the dust a wonderful, amazing life.  I am so blessed to have gone home this summer and spend the final months with both of them, before both passed on.  Grandma and Grandpa I will never forget you.  Your spirit will forever live on in me, especially the Swedish, Norwegian, and Finnish heritage.  The color red will forever symbolize you Grandma and Grandpa your amazing listening skills will forever be engraved in me.  Rest in peace both of you and I am so happy you are both reunited once again.

Happy smiling Grandma and Grandpa!!!!!:):):):):)

No comments:

Post a Comment