Goodbye with memories

I'm proud to have spoken at my grandfather's funeral. How I managed to make it through the eulogy without crying is a mystery....maybe he was up there helping me. 

It is truly an honor to be standing here in front of you and talk to you about my grandpa. 

I am one of the luckiest people I know to have had a grandfather like mine for 35 years. 

As a child I always had his love, his hilarious jokes (that we heard again and again) and always someone to tease me!! 

As a teenager, I still have that crucial and unconditional love, plus the fact that I've the toughest looking grandpa around. 

As an adult I had a friend but I also had someone I could count on no matter who, what, where, or why. 

All of us grandchildren had that and many of you here today felt the same way I'm sure. 

Today is a celebration. We had enough sadness and my grandpa wouldn't want us sitting around crying!!! He was the life of the party and the funniest one in the room and let's remember him as such. 

But what words can I put together that will do him any justice? 

Do I tell you what the time when I was younger… He was raking and burning leaves at the first yellow house at the lake. He added some gasoline on a huge pile of leaves. Grandpa waited a bit too long and the gasoline fumes buildup. He lit the fire and boom!! An explosion higher than the powerlines blew him back 10 feet, untucked his shirt, and messed up is always perfect hair. I watched with my mouth wide open and you bet grandma heard about it the very second she stepped foot into the house. 

Or do I tell you the time that he "babysat" quote me for a week? All us grandkids were constantly hanging out at our grandparents house so I'm not sure why this week was any different, but he decided that, at eight years old, he was going to charge me $10 a day. Not my parents but me! An eight-year-old! 

I'm sure he didn't love the idea that he had to drag me around to the hardware stores or whatever errands he had to do but at the same time, I know that my grandpa loved my company.  My grandpa's family was his greatest asset and he we always knew that.  And....let me tell you that to the day he died he never let me forget that I owe him $50 for the week that he babysat me. 

Or do I tell you about his softer side? How when my grandpa was surprised with his first trip to Hawaii when I was 12 or 13 he burst into tears, not quite sure what to do with his share gratitude and emotion. My grandpa never expected much and he was in shock that he would be treated with such a thoughtful gift. 

Or, do I tell you about my most favourite memory of all? I got to go on the Hawaiian cruise with my grandparents. On one of the islands we went to go tubing in some caves. I really don't think my grandpa wanted to go, but my grandma and I really wanted to go, so he donned his helmet with flashlight and hopped on the tube. He had a blast!!! I love telling all my friends that my 74-year-old grandpa went to grafting with me. And are fun didn't end there! We rented a dune buggy, him riding upfront and me in the back with my grandma. I know my grandpa would tell you that he so lucky to have spear experience those moments but really I'm the lucky one. My last and best memories are with my grandpa am on the cruise ship partying it up with a Diet Coke with an umbrella in it. 

Grandpa, in the unlikely event that you never knew how truly loved you were, please know it now. Take comfort that we share the same love for grandma and will take care of her as she took care of you. Grandpa, in the end like unlikely event you never knew how much you were needed even with all those times you moved me found me furniture took care of me (for free or for $10 a day), know that I need you every day and I carry you in my heart. And most importantly grandpa, know that now it's time to rest. You worked hard you played harder and you were your happiest when you're making everyone in the room laugh and you made everyone feel special. Now it's your turn, Grandpa. Rest in love grandpa. 

When my grandma asked me to speak today, part of me wanted to get up here and just come up and ask if anyone that wanted to share special memory of story about my grandpa. But then I realize the line of people would be all the way out the door and we wouldn't leave the church until well past midnight because everyone has a memory of him. He was just one of those special kind of people. 

He was a very strong man but he was also as kind and a soft as they come. You needed help moving? You needed help painting? You needed your laundry done with everything washed in hot water and bleach and dried on the hottest setting even if it was all your favourite wool sweaters? He was your man. 

But today I'm sharing only my memories and my stories of Nelson. I'm going to ask something from all of you. As you exit my cousin Jamie will be handing out envelopes with my address on them. Please take one of them home put pen to paper and write to me. Tell me your favourite moment or memory of my grandpa. Please no condolences...we are all very appreciative for all of the love that we have received but what I'm asking you is to help celebrate his life. Right or email me your favourite our best memories of my grandpa and please send me back those envelopes. 

Once I received all your responses I'll put them in a scrapbook that I'll give to my grandmother. My grandma can pull out the scrapbook when she needs to feel close to my grandpa. My aunts and uncles can pull out the book and read about the memories when they're sad and missing him. 

But most of all, my cousins and I will be able to read it to our children and our future children. So that deservedly so, for generations to come, the memories of my grandpa will live on and on. We will truly remember him for all the man that he was.

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