I was born in Washington (state, not D.C…. as many have asked), but grew up in Nebraska. Every summer after we moved away, my family would return back to visit. Each year, as another year passed, I cherished even more the time I would have with relatives.
This past summer I was able to drive out to Washington twice to visit family. Sadly, the circumstances were not ideal, but regardless of the circumstances, I would never pass up the opportunity.
This is a picture of Grandpa Bob that all of his kids have. In my Nebraska home, I would have a lot of friends notice this picture hanging on our kitchen wall and ask, “Why do you have a picture of George Bush in your kitchen?”
I have so many memories from the few weeks I spent out in Washington this summer. So many memories from life. Just before returning to college, my grandpa passed away.
Do you ever have a picture in your mind that is hard to put into words? My grandparents were married for 62 years and one time when were leaving the hospital for the night, my grandma went into the hospital room to kiss her husband goodnight. It was the most beautiful sight. I had seen them kiss goodnight every time I visited Washington in the summers, but somehow watching my Grandpa strain to reach his wife and tell her he loved her with a simple kiss was and is moving. Something about seeing a husband and wife still committed to one another after 62 years of ups and downs seems to be odd in a culture that sometimes feels like another world.
Grandpa Bob was an extraordinary man. The strongest man I think I will ever know, and one of the most loving. Some of the last words I heard him say was, “I love you all.”
Death is hard, but it is part of the journey.