As many of you know, my Grandpa Petey passed away last week. I flew from Boston to Northern California to attend his funeral and be with family for 4 days.
It was a wonderful celebration with lots of laughter amongst the tears. We all talked about how he managed to tell inappropriate jokes while at the dinner table or in front of the children, and how much joy he brought to our family. I'm sure going to miss his sheepish grin and twinkle in those eyes.
He was the rock and glue; marrying my Grandma with her 6 children as a package deal and never regretting a day of it. I'm told he was the best father they could ever have even dreamed for, and I know he was the best Grandpa to all his grandkids!
It's healing to share stories, I think because we can hold onto that joy, even while knowing he has left this earth.
My favorite memories are of the time I was around 8 years old and our cat had died the night before he came to visit. When he arrived, he had hopped out of his truck and said in his gruff voice, "I brought something for you" and pulled a kitten out of the lining of his jacket. I'll never forget it. That was love in action.
I was fortunate enough to have my Grandparents very active in my youth group when I was growing up. My Grandma would be behind the scenes with mostly administrative stuff and my Grandpa would willingly drive his van all over Washington, Oregon and Canada for all our retreats and pantomime performances - Allowing us to crank up our 80's rock music and trash his vehicle. Every retreat when it came time for the youth to give a testimony or repent and turn their life back to God, he would sit in the back and cry - every one of them mattered that much to him. He loved seeing God work in the lives of teenagers and gave so much of himself, expecting nothing in return. A true hero to many and a blessing to anyone who knew him.
The day I flew back to Boston, my husband took us to Plymouth Rock and to Cape Cod for a seafood lunch. I slept in the van most of the day due to coming off an all-nighter flight that morning, but it was just what the doctor ordered.
The following day we walked The Freedom Trail in Boston where we witnessed a line of people waiting to be sworn in as US citizens, took a tour of Paul Revere's home (photos were not allowed), walked the Holocaust Memorial, and viewed other historical sites.
The best part of this week was hanging out with old friends. Jen and Israel treated us to great hospitality and fun times together. We ended today with a stop at the water ... because when else are my kids going to be able to throw a snowball in a lake?? ;)
The plan is to cover 4 states over this next week. As an introvert, I am hoping for some down time and I think my kids could use a routine! But I wouldn't change this opportunity for much of anything.
Till next week! Marilyn