Two days ago I posted about my grandma. I found out that I was actually off by one day…she died on September 21st. It’s funny how reality can be changed through memory. But this time I know I have it right. Two years ago today my grandpa passed away. There is a kind of romance in the fact that he died almost exactly on the anniversary of his wife’s death. Of course my childhood perception may be different from what adults would have seen, but I always perceived them to be a very balanced and happy couple.
I knew my grandpa a lot better than my grandma. He was around for a few more years than my grandma, but he was there mentally until the end. We did crossword puzzles with him in his hospital room almost until the end. Here are some of my favorite things about my grandpa:
My grandpa was a legendary fisherman in these parts. Pretty much anyone who is anyone on the river knows of Bill Preble. He shared that love of fishing with his family, and he still lives on in my brother.
My grandpa was the strong one. He was the one who pretended things were better than they really were. He was the eternal optimist.
My grandpa was dedicated. He insisted that my grandma be kept close when he could no longer care for her. Then he chose an assisted living home next door and visited her every day. He loved her so much.
My grandpa wrote me a letter each week when I was in college. Mostly they said the same things each week. But in them he was so encouraging and loving. I looked forward to them so much because I could tell that he cared about me. When times got tough up in Tacoma, I knew he was thinking of me.
My grandpa had some sayings. My family laughs about them now. We use them too. When in doubt, there is always a “grandpa said…..”
My grandpa was wise. He read and he read and he read. And he had lots of life experience. He had a vast amount of knowledge stored inside.
My grief for my grandpa was a lot different than that for my grandma. My grandpa’s death was much more sudden, and I was not allowed to properly grieve for him until much later because there were too many other things going on in my life which sucked all my grieving capacity dry.
Now I am picturing my grandpa in heaven. He is sitting on a bank somewhere with a fishing pole in his hands. The water is pure and free of pollution. There are plenty of salmon. God’s creation is evident everywhere. There are mountains in the distance and birds in the trees. The river hums a chorus in praise to the Lord. My grandpa feels a tug on the line. He has a bite.