Wednesday, May 18

On December 12, my grandpa passed away. He was 92 years old.  He was an amazing man-in every area of his life-father, marine, friend, grandfather.

When I was little, I'm not going to lie, he was pretty intimidating.  He was about 6'4" and a big guy.  I was very shy and quiet.  Any time we sat down to eat dinner, I would pick at my food, and be the last to finish.  He would sit at the table and say "Eat!  Eat!  Eat!" 

One time, while visiting my grandparents-I remember I was at their house with just them (I have no idea where my parents were).  My grandma was going to church and my grandpa had just had some eye surgery.  I was in her room as she was getting ready to leave and she told me to take care of him while she was gone, and when she came back, she'd bring me a present.  She brought back a book from church-something about having good manners.  I don't know why that's something I've remembered, but I feel like after my grandma passed away-I've always remembered her telling me to take care of him.

My grandpa sold his house in northern Virginia sometime around 2002-2005 (can't really remember) and moved into an apartment on the campus of a senior living place.  A few years after that, he fell and broke his hip-after that he was able to stay on the campus-but moved to a more hospital-like setting where he had access to doctors and nurses if he needed them.  About a year after being in that room-he moved to a cozier-more apartment-like-room in the same building.  A few months there, he got pneumonia and about 2 weeks later, passed away in his sleep. 

I was lucky enough to get to see him in October on my way up to visit Natasha.  

I'm trying to talk to my dad into writing everything down about my grandpa.  Over the years, he's created a timeline-esque story of my grandpa's life.  He also wrote the eulogy that he read at the funeral service. 

From L to R: Back Row: Aunt Maureen,  Grandma Frieda, Grandpa Ray, Back Row: Uncle Brian, my Dad, Uncle Dennis

In this picture-my dad looks JUST like my grandpa here.  Twins-I swear. 

Although it was a rough day-it was nice getting to see all my family at one time.  With everyone living in 3 different states-it's not often we all get together!

I know this is a choppy post-lots of thoughts all over the place.

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