Yesterday was the first anniversary of my grandfather's death. I have thought all day about him. I stared at this picture for the longest time this morning. This picture was taken with Talan and Abe just a couple of weeks before he died.
He died in a way that everyone wishes they could eventually die. He was napping peacefully in his comfy chair and he just never woke up.
Lisa and I were
two of the first people to arrive. Grandma was worried about his ring and wondered If it should be removed before he went to the mortuary. I had the honor of holding his hands and working the ring off of his finger while it was still warm. I knew it was a privilege to feel the last of this great man's warmth. As I sat there I thought about these same hands freezing (literally) as he was marched for four days across Germany and Poland as a POW in WWII. I thought about these hands piloting a huge B24 bomber using all manual controls and levers, and how they must have gripped and shook when they were forced to crash land. He was an honest-to-goodness American Hero and I am in awe of the legacy he left.
With those hands he helped raise 7 children. His hands performed countess sealings, endowments, and baptisms in the Lord's temple. He gave Priesthood blessings, he served two missions and shared his testimony at every opportunity. He was never preachy, just sincere and humble. He married John and I in the temple as well as all of my brother's and sisters. I'm only now realizing how huge a blessing that is to have been sealed by my own grandpa. He was always gentle but always strong. He worked hard his whole life for his country, for his family and for his God. I have never known such a perfect man.
I can't believe it has been a year. I miss him. I want to hold his hand again.