Most of the time on my blog I write about fun, trivial, and simple things. This past week has really helped to put my life back in perspective. I flew home to Oklahoma last Monday to help arrange and to attend my Granddad's funeral.
I feel really lucky as far as grandparents go. I am 25 years old and I have had all 4 of my grandparents until the age of 23. My Pawpaw passed away in November 2009, and now my Granddad just last week. All of my grandparents are/were extraordinary people, and I learned something from each of them. My pawpaw was a very humble, brilliant, and loving man. He taught me how to retain your own principles without judging others.
My Granddad, on the other hand was a very principled man and he wore it on his shoulder. Everyone knew exactly what he believed in and he let you know what you should believe in. For him there was only one way to do things, the right way. Which proved to be true in his life-long hobby of building and inventing.
My granddad was also one of the biggest-hearted people I will ever know. He loved to make people laugh. One of my earliest memories of him is holding me down and drawing birds on the bottom of my feet. My grandmother thought it was torture, but it would always resort in uncontrollable laughter on my part.
He had his beliefs, but they never got in the way of helping others out. My grandparents took in countless "strays," as they called them. Most of them friends of my mom and aunts and uncles who were abused, homeless, or recovering from drugs or alcohol.
I feel blessed to have had him in my life for as long as I did. In 2006, as I was studying abroad in England, my grandparents, and most of that side of my family came to visit me. We were able to fulfill his life-long dream by traveling to the Vatican and meeting the Pope. I have never seen him happier. He was literally dancing and singing down the streets of Italy. I think that is how he will live on in my memory. I will miss him terribly, but I take comfort in the fact that his presence lives on in the lives of anyone that ever knew him.