Monday, November 8, 2010

his stories were the best. true or not.

my grandpa carle died in the early morning hours today. it was expected...he had been on a downward spiral healthwise for 6 months and towards the end, he was a shell of a man that no longer talked, or ate, or wanted to live. 
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(my hand with grandpa's hand)

but whether we expected it or not, death is a difficult concept to grasp.i write this trying to understand why we can't all die swiftly and painlessly...quietly in our beds...happy and ready. how many times have i prayed this week that if i lose my mind and can't function in my old age, that the Lord would just take me away instead of lingering around miserably between two worlds.
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(family members hands with granpa's hand)

all this is sad. and the grief process is settling in. i go back and forth between celebrating my hilarious and irreverent grandfather and thinking that his life, and my life will and every one's will be forgotten someday...regardless of how awesome any of us were. after 2 generations or so, generally, there isn't much known about the life of relatives. unless they were famous in history, i guess. this thought seems depressing, but actually, shifts my eyes away from worthless things. this life and the things in it are fleeting. praise Jesus that there is hope for life we have after death.

(i don't mean to say that life is completely meaningless. it's not. i'm just sharing my thoughts...fresh from grief.)

anyway, as i say all of life is pointless... there are some pretty awesomely "pointless" things you should know about my grandpa:

he was a guard at the white house for president roosevelt.

he was in a western movie with william holden(a famous actor back then).
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(that's grandpa on the right)

he served our country in the military(a shooter in a fighter plane)...and a lot of stories i can't put on this blog because they involve lots of women...wink wink. who's grandpa tells them things like this?
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that's him on the left. what a ham-bone.

speaking of, my fondest memory of my grandpa was when he came to church with us...wearing a large VIAGRA pen on his shirt. smirking the whole time. the other memory i love of my grandpa is when he gave layne a purple crown royal liquor bag full of change... when he was 2. that's just funny.

he often lived in a tree and ate snakes for nourishment. this one isn't true, but it's what i overheard him telling my siblings when they were young. you've seen the movie "big fish"...this is the story of my grandpa.maybe that's why "big fish" is in my top 5 favorite movies.
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i wouldn't call myself particularly close to my grandfather, but there is something to be said for seeing someone at almost every christmas, thanksgiving, easter, and birthday party. of course, then the random occasions or dinners-- where he told stories (true and untrue) for hours if you gave him the chance. and you always gave him the chance. i will say that it's harder to watch my father grieve the loss of his father.
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it makes me face that one day, it will be me saying goodbye to my dad. and that is the worst part of the sting.

i'm glad layne and lila got to meet him. they won't remember, but alas! i have pictures! again, the importance of documenting your lives with pictures and stories couldn't be more important in times like these.
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memories get lost in the business of life. so i'm documenting my thoughts and feelings today, so it is set in stone. or on paper. same thing. either way, grandpa would have enjoyed this i think.

26 comments:

  1. I'm so sorry, Jamie. Just makes me want to love harder - everyone around me.
    God bless.

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  2. These pictures tell and show a story that I think anyone would envy. What a good show and tell of his life. Thinking of your family today...

    PS. I TOTALLY know who William Holden was. He was in Sabrina with Audrey. And Ronald Reagan's best man in his wedding.

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  3. i remember him from the bday parties. loved your post and praying for your family.

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  4. I am so sorry about your grandpa. What a great sounding guy. And I am totally impressed about William Holden. I now need to see this movie. Now.

    God bless you and your family!

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  5. what a lovely tribute to your grandpa. I'm sorry for your loss. The memories you have are pretty special.

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  6. what a sweet tribute to your grandpa.

    i'm sure he would have loved to read this.

    praying you and your loved ones feel the lord's comfort today.

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  7. This is beautiful. I'm crying. I think it may be the hormones, but it really is a great piece to honor your grandpa.

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  8. Prayers to you and your family Jamie. This is a beautiful post ~ one that you will treasure.

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  9. Jami - this is an awesome tribute that Grandpa would have loved. He'd have loved it even more if you had told a few of the "women" stories. :) I can say that he is the only person in the world that I would let call me "the Mexican girl from Texas". He's the only old man I allowed to get in an inappropriate squeeze occasionally. I will always laugh when I remember the look on Steve's face when Grandpa told him we had fooled around when I'd been out for a visit by myself. (NOT true, but still funny). Love to you all, N

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  10. great post, great pictures. you are right, grandpa would have loved this!

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  11. Jami, I am so sorry for your loss. But happy that your grandpa is free now. And I'm glad you could be with him in the end and say your goodbyes. I selfishly hoped it wasn't your grandpa from this post:

    http://thenatos.blogspot.com/2010/02/kickin-it-old-school.html

    (one of your best ever I may add) and was sad when your pictures today confirmed that it was. He sounded like such a ham even as an old man and I love that! Thanks for sharing. These pictures are amazing! And let me know if there's anything I can do. <3

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  12. i think it may be customary for grandpas to give their grandchildren gifts in purple crown royal bags.
    i recall only receiving gifts from these velvet bags filled coins, silver or gems. regardless, your grandpa sounded like a real stud.
    ---
    nato shared ya'lls story at mens leadership lab.
    he cried.
    i cried. i didn't look around but im sure a lot of grown men were also crying.
    (i'm not sure if i'm supposed to share what happens in mens leadership lab, i think it's like fight club.)

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  13. It made me cry when you were talking about the prep it will take to say good bye to your own dad. I can't even imagine. It seems like yesterday that we lost Grandpa Dalporto/Jerry. Sorry again, remember, there is no time limit on grief. Love ya

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  14. I'm sorry to hear about your grandpa. This is so sweet. I love hearing your perspective on things

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  15. I'm so very sorry for your loss. This was a beautiful tribute! The photos of the hands are priceless.

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  16. My heart, thoughts, and prayers are with you and your family. I understand exactly how you feel. I lost my grandfather a few years ago, and before he left this world I went from being his favorite to not having him recognize me. I felt I lost him twice. Yet, aside from that my heart was hurting more for my mom...her grief hit hard.

    Thanks for sharing.

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  17. Jami, I'm so sorry about your grandpa. I just lost mine three weeks ago, and I hear ya—-seeing him shutting down and being trapped between here & there for months; celebrating the fun/funny/wonderful and mourning the loss; beginning to understand that someday we'll have to do the same thing with our parents. My prayer for you is that, as you grieve, you discover old, wonderful memories that have been hidden in your brain for this very moment.

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  18. Thank for writing about this. I lost my grandmother over the summer and what you wrote about grief spoke to me.

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  19. This was beautiful. I'm so sorry for your loss. :( praying for you and your family.

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  20. what a wonderful tribute to him...james is on his way home from his grandma's funeral in kansas. the end of her life was similar to your grandpa's. so glad they are free now, no more suffering or waiting! what joy they must be experiencing!

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  21. He sounds like an amazing man. And might I add, that is one of the best letters I've ever seen! So sorry for the loss of a great sounding man.

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  22. I am so very sorry to hear about your loss. What a beautiful tribute.

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  23. Beautiful post and it looks like your grandpa lived a good life. He sounds a lot like my dad :). When we watched "Big Fish", we automatically said, "Dad!" Lots of awesome stories (true or not). I'm so sorry for your loss. Treasure the wonderful memories.

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  24. this is beautiful. so wonderfully written. my grandpa is getting older and I think slowly to the point where he will go when the time is right with the Lord. Your story of your grandpa made me think so much of mine and the amazing man he is. What a legacy men like your grandpa and mine leave. The line about having more difficulty watching your father grieve the loss of his father...although I will miss him terribly...I think it will be the same for me. Praying your family continues to heal.

    also, I am loving your blog and am so grateful to have found it...what amazing creations you share!

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