Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Teir 9

My Grandpa passed away this weekend.
He was 85.
When someone is 85, people like to say, "well, he has a good long life." I guess so. I still miss him. I grew up about 10 minutes from all of my Grandparents. I was closer to them sometimes than I was other times. I rebelled, and reconciled - just like everyone does. What I will miss most about our relationship was the quiet understanding. Grandpa always new what was best. He was a man of few words, but the words he spoke were important. I don't know if he really understood what I do for a living, but I do know that he respected me for doing it. He was proud that I have a good career, a good husband, and a good head on my shoulders. He never needed to say it, you could just tell.
I spent a big part of the last day thinking about all of the good things he has done for his family, the community, and his church over the years. He raised 4 great boys, who have raised their own broods of pride. It's hard to sum up a life that meant so much to so many. I choose to remember the fun things. The story of teaching my Grandma to drive. The story about Uncle Thane out running the police in his hot rod. The stories about moving with his parents from Virginia to Pennsylvania by horse and carriage. Grandpa hanging out the dining room window smoking stogies, so he could put it out when he saw Grandma coming down the street. The day he mixed all the leftovers in the fridge together and declared that the taste was "not as good as you might think." When he taught me to shoot groundhogs with the little rifle. When he used to go out in the ocean with me and my cousin's on the tractor tube. And his smell - pipe tobacco and peppermint.
I'm thankfully didn't have to work yesterday. Tech was long and complicated, and the news of Grandpa's passing pt me over the edge. I am not a terribly emotional person, and under normal conditions, I would have been sad, but wouldn't have cried at work. I ended up leaving early, and going home to talk with my brothers on the phone.
Yesterday I just sat and knit, and thought about my family. I did get another tier done - 9 now! I just couldn't manage to knit with any speed. I kept drifting off in my thoughts. I wonder if I'll be any more productive in the next few days. So much time to sit and be sad. It's good to have something to do with your hands. I hope my family understands that.
Right now, tier 9 is the sad, tear stained reminder of my Grandpa. That feeling will pass. Eventually I won't remember what tier I knit while I was crying. Then, I won't remember what project I was knitting. But that's OK. Grandpa would be proud of me, no matter what. Proud that I can make beautiful things with my hands. Proud that I am a nice person. And proud that I give of myself when I can.
In that spirit, I must wish everyone a "Happy Fausnaught day!" It is a PA Dutch thing. You give away homemade fausnaughts (doughnuts) as a sign of good will. What you give away, you get back ten fold. I made a mess of fausnaughts today. Giving away what you can. Definately a trait my Grandpa admired.
Good bye Grandpa. See you when I can.


anphoe said...

I am sorry to hear that. May beautiful memories give you strength at this difficult time.

Agnes said...


acambras said...

All of my grandparents lived to be in their 80's or 90's. Even though my family and I took comfort in the fact that they'd lived long, full lives, losing them was still difficult.

I'll be thinking about you and your family this week.


Debi said...

I'm so sorry Valerie, it's hard to lose those you love no matter what age. He'll live on in you everyday and will bring you comfort when you finally wrap your FPS around your shoulders.

itgirl said...


Erin said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your grandfather. I'm glad you have so many wonderful memories of him. I'll be keeping you and your family in my thoughts.

shanna.dijkstra@hotmail.com said...

I just ended up on your weblog,think you wrote a beautiful text about you grandfather. But I wondered, what does PA Dutch mean? I myself am dutch, but never ever heard of fausnaughts, sounds more like german to me.