Thursday, May 10, 2012

Bye bye Grandpa Gene

This is the last picture I took of my Grandpa Gene. Yeah, the lighting isn't awesome and Rylan has his hand in his mouth and Max looks like he's trying to bolt from Grandma's lap, but I love this pic. It is from Max's birthday that we spent in Kansas last October. Grandpa was in the best health he had been in a while and is up, smiling and wrastling with my kiddos.

He has been battling heart disease and emphysema for years. Our Grandma's excellent care for him has kept him here with us many years longer than anyone could have predicted. Partially because she was such a good nurse and wife to him and partially because he loved her so much, he tried so hard to stay. This past month, my Grandpa's health deteriorated and it became apparent that God was calling him home. After such a long battle, everyone was ready for Grandpa to have some peace. Last Saturday he died. We left for Kansas and have been mourning him since.

He was a spitfire, never afraid to tell you how he really felt. At his wake, many stories came out of my Grandpa's sense of humor, ability to cuss even while laughing, and his very sassy spirit. My favorite story is when I took Rob to Kansas for the first time. We were there for a big fat German Catholic wedding and I thought it was time to introduce Rob to my family. My Grandpa came in the room and I stood up and hugged him and said "Grandpa, my boyfriend, Rob, came with me" and my Grandpa looks at Rob and says "well, what the hell did you do that for?" I hadn't prepared Rob for Grandpa's zanniness and Rob was standing there ready to shake Grandpa's hand with his eyes open wide. Grandpa busted out laughing shook Rob's friend and spent the night making sure Rob was having a good time.  Under his cussing, rough exterior was one of the sweetest, kindest, most loving, and Godly men I've ever known or ever will know.

My memories of my Grandpa range from being a small child and helping him pick blackberries in his yard, playing cards, making us stiff drinks (even if we weren't of age), watching him fight back from a terrible heart attack, hearing him congratulate me when I called to say I was engaged, watching my kids gravitate to him as soon as they met him, and finally watching him sit in his cozy chair, praying rosary after rosary and trusting his life to God. I love that man.

If you have a minute, pray for my Grandma, as she is starting a new chapter of her life after being my Grandpa's wife for nearly 64 years and being his most amazing caretaker. She has exhibited more grace and courage in the last month than I will have in my life.  Love her.

Sorry for the delay in updating the blog, I will do better. Other than the passing of my Grandpa, our life has been great, just really busy. Been busy keeping Max's hand out of the toilet and the dog food bowl, I guess. I was posting all my to-do's but my to-do list became too long for a blog, and doing all my to-do's took time from blogging. However, I have a slightly cleaner house, and a super de-dustmited life for my allergy/asthma ridden kiddos. I have also taken on an extra day of work, and the kids have left their daycare (sigh) Tiny Town and are in real big boy preschool. sigh sigh sigh. Life is moving so frackin fast!


  1. So sorry for your loss, but so happy that your precious grandfather found peace. We are praying for your grandmother. I can't imagine how lost she must feel right now. :(
    Love you guys!

  2. I'm so, so, so, so sorry for your loss. :( I promise to say lots of prayers for your grandma...and for you. Please let me know if I can do anything for watch your two precious boys so you can take a little time for yourself, k?