My grandfather died yesterday after fighting cancer for nearly two years. He went peacefully, surrounded by much of his family. The rest of his family arrived later in the day to wish his spirit well and join together in celebrating his life. He and my grandmother raised eight kids, and he saw eleven grandkids and one great-grandchild come into and grow in this world. And all of the kids, most of the grandkids, and the great-grandchild are here now to remember him.
I have many memories to choose from when thinking about my grandfather, but the one that will stick with me is from our trip to Grand Forks last year. Grandpa worked the trip in between his chemo schedule and still had the strength and will power to drive himself and my grandmother all the way from Chicago as he would usually do despite his illness. During the trip, he was just as spry, alert, and happy as I had always remembered him before he was diagnosed. We have a great video of him playing with Drew in the hotel pool. It's hard to tell who was having more fun.
Over the next few days, I'm sure I'll have a lot more memories to share. Hopefully I'll have the time to hop on-line and share them here as well as with my family. In the meantime, those of you who pray, please light a candle for my grandfather and for my grandmother, his wife of more than fifty years. For those of you who don't pray, please spare a moment to think kind thoughts for my family during this bittersweet time.