This past week my dear Grandfather passed away. He had been sick for almost a year after we first heard the dreaded word cancer last spring. Even when you know that someone you love is very sick, and you are told that they will pass away soon, nothing prepares you for the news that it has happened.
My Grandfather was an amazing man. When I think back on his life and the impact he is left on my life, I am always drawn back to the kitchen of his home on Church Street, in the small town of Royersford Pennsylvania. I remember making the long (now I realize it is just a little over an hour) drive to my grandparents house as a child. I would be greeted with a big hug and a glass candy jar full of Tootsie Rolls. We would spend the weekend, and it was not uncommon to find me in the kitchen with my Grandfather. He would make me eggs and the world’s best home fries. He taught me how to peel potatoes as he would tell me how he made them for all the neighborhood kids when he was growing up during the Great Depression. We would sit at the kitchen table and eat them with his worn out Bible sitting at the end of the table. He would quiz me on Bible questions, and tell me all about the Church of Acts. My Grandfather never met a stranger, he worked hard and he taught me to love my family and be passionate about life…and of course how to make the best home fries.
Last month was the last time I saw him. For the months while I was pregnant my Mom would show him pictures of my ultrasounds of my growing belly, and then of course all of the many pictures of Stella after she was born. He would scroll through them on my sister’s iPhone in his hospital bed. We knew that he did not have much time, and that it would mean the world to him to meet his Great Granddaughter. It did.
By the time we were able to get to Pennsylvania, he was very weak. Though he could not hold Stella on his own, my Mom and I helped him and you could see the joy come over him as he held her. He kissed her and loved on her, and though he did not have much strength to speak, he found the strength to sing to her as he held her.
I am so thankful for the impact he had on my life and grateful that someday we will tell Stella about her Great Grandfather.