So last year I lost both of my Grandpas. I realize that I was VERY fortunate to have them in my life for 24 years--considering I am the youngest grandchild on both sides... I really miss them. They were two of the best men in the world!
Grandpa Ray was my dad's dad. He died 1 day before his 97th birthday on March 3, 2009. My Grandpa Ray was amazing. He was mentally all there up until about a month before he died. He always made me feel special...always. Like I was his favorite grandchild--or sometimes even his favorite person in the whole world. I would sit on grandpa's lap and cuddle with him when I was a little girl...and maybe even when I wasn't so little anymore. I earned the nickname shorty from my Grandpa Ray. He even named my dolls--Baldine and Squinty(it made me mad when I was 7, but those are the only names I remember for them now). My grandpa owned a mens clothing store and was always dressed very nice. My grandpa would call me "babe". He was the best partner to have when playing card games. Most of all...Grandpa Ray was my biggest fan and made sure I knew it! I knew that he loved me and wanted me to be happy. He lived a great life and I miss him lots. At his funeral we sang a song called God Be With You 'Til We Meet Again...I still can't sing that song without crying. I love my Grandpa Ray!!!
Now if that wasn't sappy enough...my Grandpa Gene died on Halloween. He is my mom's mom and always lived in Oregon. My Grandpa Gene also made me feel special...like I was the most important thing to him in the world. He really valued family and the time that we got to spend together. Grandpa Gene taught me to ride horses--maybe he threw me on the back of a horse and told me to hang on...but still :) He tried to teach me how to tie knots...but I still can't tell you how the bunny goes in the hole and all that stuff(he tried to teach me by using a story about a bunny...) He was always very supportive of me while i was in college and offered several times to pay for my college for me. He came to both my high school and college graduations. A few years ago, he asked me if I wanted to go anywhere in the world where would it be...and I told him I wanted to go to Russia. The next morning I woke up and he was trying to plan this trip to Russia(he was like 88 at that time...Russia probably wasn't the best place for him to go and I talked him out of it) He was always trying to "line me up" with some boy in the small town where they live. One time he even took me to the LDS church and told me to go inside and find a man. He also taught me how to shoot a gun, and later gave me a gun for Christmas! I love my Grandpa Gene and cherish the memories that I have with him. At his funeral we sang Amazing Grace.
I still find myself picking up the phone to call my grandpa's just to talk to them and see how they are doing and tell them that I love them. I can't bring myself to take their numbers out of my phonebook yet...They were 2 great men! I love my Grandpas :)