to you, grandpa

You met Jesus yesterday, Grandpa. As heartbreaking as that afternoon phone call was, I'm so glad you're no longer suffering. I drove hom from work yesterday, sobbing and grieving and suddenly laughing because knowing you, you're up in heaven training everyone's dogs and teaching them how to barbecue the perfect Santa Maria style Tri Tip steak. You have your leg back and you can walk again. You're cancer free.

As thrilled as I am for you that years of chemo and suffering are over, I still miss you so much.
I will always remember running in the house, after the 10 hour drive from Reno, and sitting on your lap in your big brown recliner.
I'll remember watching you grill steaks outside in your cowboy boots and cowboy hat.
I'll remember the stories you told of working for Michael Jackson and Kelly Johnson.
I'll remember the stories my dad tells of you, the way you were kicked out of his basketball game for standing up to the ref, the way you pushed him to go to college so he could have a better life for his family.
I'll remember watching you and James bond in the living room, with the sliding glass door pushed open and family members scattered all over the room.
I'll remember that you always sat in the living room to listen to grandma and me play the piano.
I'll remember the way you taught James to eat aebleskives, with jam and powdered sugar, the way a true Dane would.
I'll remember you the last time I saw you, last month at our family reunion. You wore your cowboy hat like you used to. You laughed and joked and told stories of when my dad, aunt, and uncle were all kids on the ranch. I've never seen you happier. It's the perfect last memory to have.

But you're not gone.
You live on in my dad, whose voice sounds exactly like yours when he's gruff. And he plants the best tomatoes and grills the best steaks, just like you taught him to.
Your love of big band and swing music is alive and well in me.
Your grandson Nicholas is the spitting image of you when you were a teenager, with his bright red hair and freckles.
Pieces of you are woven all throughout this family. You can never truly be gone.

You battled multiple amputations and cancer for years. Your stubborn will wouldn't let you die, even after doctors were convinced you wouldn't make it another day. You were strong when you should have been weak. No matter what else you may have done in your life, to me, that makes you a hero. You were always strong and stubborn and a hard worker.

I'm so thankful to have had 23 years with you on earth. You better have a steak waiting for me when I get to heaven.


  1. So sorry for your loss, Michelle!! There are no words to comfort, I know.. please know you and your family are in my prayers! Here for you if you need anything! Love you :)

  2. Awww Michelle, I'm so sorry :( Such a tough thing to deal with - I'll be thinking about you and your family!

    He sounds like he was an amazing man and a wonderful father/grandfather :)

  3. Michelle-- I am so sorry for your loss but I know you are glad he is dancing up in heaven!

    Praying for you today my sweet friend!

  4. Oh Michelle, I'm so sorry.

    But he's free to walk and be.. right? That is beautiful.

    Granted it's still a pit, a knot, and ugh I am so sorry.

  5. Michelle, I am so sorry to hear this. I'll definitely remember you and your family in the coming days, I'm sure it will be tough. But wow, what an amazing man he sounds like. Did he really work for Michael Jackson? I can only imagine the joy he brought into your life for the 23 years you got to share with him.

  6. I'm sorry Michelle. You and your family will be in my prayers.

    I'm so glad you got to go visit him one last time. Those memories will stick with you forever. It's also a blessing to know you'll see your grandpa again one day. I know that it doesn't take away the pain though.

    Thinking of you friend!

  7. Oh I am so sorry to hear about this, Michelle. But your perspective and words here are so beautiful! He will never truly be gone in your memories and heart. He sounds like a totally awesome Grandpa- I'll be thinking of your family today!

  8. Many big hugs to you! This is a wonderful tribute to a wonderful man.

  9. I've been away from blogging entirely since Friday, but I was sure to read your posts when I could. I checked today specifically to see if you had an update about your grandpa. I am sending you love, hugs, kisses on the head, and my hand to hold. I love you, and I am so happy that you've taken this opportunity to share the wonderful things you love and cherish about your grandpa. Rejoice! He is making new friends in Heaven! I'm thinking of you, lover face. :) *hug*

  10. My heart is with you and your family right now. I had the very same conflicting emotions when my Granfather passed away 10 years ago. It's hard to grieve, and yet know that someone is so much happier and better off than they were. Our Grandfathers are totally hanging out in heaven wearing cowboy hats. My grandfather was a trick roper, I'm sure they're having a blast right now.

    You are right though, there are parts of him that have become parts of your family, and those parts of him can never be taken from you. Thank goodness for memories.

  11. I'm sorry to hear about your loss, Michelle.

  12. awww, what sad but sweet sweet post Michelle! What lovely memories of your grandpa. :) So glad you have so many happy ones!

  13. Beautiful.
    much love to you & your family.

  14. This is a great post. Keep those memories of him with you.

  15. So sorry for your loss. So glad you were able to see him recently. I know that means a lot. Prayers, Sandie.

  16. So very sorry. What a bittersweet post. <3

  17. I am so so sorry to hear about your loss. What a beautiful post you wrote. Having those memories are priceless. My thoughts will be with you and your family. I pray you feel {some} closure and have those memories to share forever.

  18. So sorry for your loss... May the peace that passes understanding be close. <3 xo

  19. oh so sorry girl! that has to be really hard! sending you good vibes, as insignificant as that is. wishing your family the best.

  20. i am so sorry for your loss..thinking of you and your family!

  21. I am so sorry for your loss Michelle. This was such a beautiful tribute to your grandpa. I pray your family will be covered in peace this season. Much love, Katie

  22. I'm so sorry to hear this. Praying for you and your family


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