Thursday, March 10, 2016

A beautiful life

Saturday morning we got a devastating call from Rob's mom:  his dad had passed away in the night.  They were in California, had spent a lovely week at Disneyland with Rob's brother and his family.  He hadn't complained of any health problems during the trip and had no known health problems so this came as a huge shock to all of us.

His passing has brought to my mind a wealth of memories shared with him. He has been such a huge part of holidays, birthdays, vacations, home projects, and really just our life.  He was a humble man with a very big heart.  Steven was named after him and as a little kid, he idolized his grandpa.  I hope that his biggest aspiration is to be as kind and good as his namesake.

I have so many pictures of him and my kids.  I keep thinking about Alisa's admonition to take more pictures.  I'm glad I have as many as I do.  I wish I could take more.  Here are a few that tell a little about him as a grandpa.

Here is one of my favorites: Steven and Grandpa on an evening hike at Yellowstone.
Grandpa loved Yellowstone as much as Steven and they went there together three times.  Steven has
spent some time this week planning another Yellowstone trip.

Grandpa was one of Steven's biggest cheerleaders--whether it was at a ball game
 or concert, and especially during his cancer fight.  

Laura and Grandpa this summer.  He gave hugs often and sometimes awkwardly,
but there was never a doubt about his love.

He rarely missed a birthday, and then only when he was out of town.

His last church assignment was at a church farm that provided vegetables to the Bishop's storehouse.
  He put his whole heart into his assignment as he did all his church service.

He was the kind of Grandpa to play with the kids.  He loved to play board games or
read them stories, or go on walks, anything as long as he was with his grandkids.

This picture isn't great, but I love that I have proof that he was a play-on-the-floor kind of grandpa.

Grandpa loved to hold the babies, and would scoop them up whenever he could.

He took lots of time off when we lived in Ohio to come visit us and get to know our kids.
 I love this one of him with Andrew.  

Here is Steven getting ready for a fishing trip with Grandpa.  Steven loves to fish but
 we don't, so he begs his grandparents to take him and they make time to do it.  

He's been at all our kids blessings and baptisms and priesthood ordinations.
Family was his great priority, and none of us doubted it.

My dad was gone the morning we lost little Daniel, and Steve rushed to the hospital to give me a
blessing and then went to our house to be with our kids as they woke up and break them the
news of his death.  I will never forget his sincere love and compassion at that time.

I've seen death slowly take my sister and now I'm watching Rob's family endure the shock of Steve's sudden death.  They have different challenges, but both have brought on intense feelings of loss, and also very deep feelings of peace.  I feel so sure there is life after death and that through Christ we will all be resurrected someday.  And while that certainly makes the loss bearable, I would give anything to be able to call him up one more time and tell him I love him.