My cousin, Julie, and I stood at my grandpa's beside early this morning, just as the sun was rising, and watched him take his last breath. It was a peaceful, awesome, humbling experience that I will cherish all of my life.
Mostly because Grandpa was one of the very best men I've ever heard of, let alone have ever met. Mostly because I feel certain that he was greeted in heaven by his family and his holy Father. And mostly because I know that while we will miss him, they are so elated to have him home in heaven today.
He was joyful and funny and passionate and loving and emotional and kind. He always had a story, found humor in most things, wasn't afraid to cry, took such care of his family and wife, and enjoyed his life.
And it was a great life.
He traveled and ate and laughed and played music and loved the Buckeyes and fished and wood worked and adored being outside and loved his church and cherished his family.
Grandpa had the greatest smile - it would warm you all over to see him flash that smile. It was just so joyful and genuine.
Grandpa had big ears and a long nose, but somehow pulled both of them off in a dashing way - he was a very handsome man.
I remember he had about 100 suits hanging in a deep hall closet, a key making machine in his workshop, a Pinto that never caught fire, a beautiful house and with a breathtaking yard, a stereo system that piped music through the house and outside, an organ, a pipe, golf hats in every color, the most beautiful thick silver hair.
He taught me what a man should be - hard and soft and always good and honest and hard working and faithful. I think he taught Mom that too, since she married a man very much like Grandpa. And I married a man very much like my father...
...it all started with Grandpa.