Thursday, June 24, 2010

Together Forever

Let me tell you about Mont.
He was the lucky sailor who married Grace, a brown eyed beauty (both my daughters have her brown eyes).

He was the father of 4 sons, including my own dad, beloved grandfather of 16, and great grandfather of 21 (at last count). The great majority of whom bear some resemblance to him. There are a lot of us cousins who look enough alike to be siblings. I inherited his (their) dark hair & skinny legs - those genes in particular are very dominant.

 (my dad & me - we both have chicken legs)

He had blue eyes that were often mischievous, and during his last few years often teary with emotion.  He loved his family, and was especially proud of his boys. He was a builder, sun worshipper, Speedo wearer, sports lover & horse shoe champion.  He was also a carpenter, fisherman, wonderful example & man of great faith.  He was a lot of fun. He was handsome, and well aware of it. The raspberry bushes in our yard are from starts he gave us - he liked knowing they were growing well & we were eating & loving our berries. He was an amazing caregiver for my sweet grandmother as she battled Alzheimer's.  It was a battle she lost 3 years ago.  He missed her so much.

My kids loved him.  When my 5 year old prayed for him he referred to him as our bestest, bestest, bestest grandpa.  He was in our prayers a lot recently.

Not last Sunday, but the Sunday before, our little family went and visited him.  The kids stuck to him like glue. He was taken with our youngest and tried to get her to laugh.

On Monday morning I visited with him again, my two youngest in tow. He was no longer able to play & joke or sit up and talk at all, so I sat by his side and held his hand & told him I loved him. He squeezed my hand back - I'd like to think it was his way of responding and not just an involuntary reflex. His medical aides told us the he had been conversing with unseen visitors recently -  when asked who he was talking to, he said it was his brother (who passed away not long ago) and "he was on the other side of the river".  Apparently my grandmother has been there a lot as well.

After sitting with him for a bit, we left to go meet my husband downtown for lunch (it was his birthday).  As I was driving home from lunch I received a phone call from my dad.  Grandpa had passed away.  Less than two hours after I left his side.

  I am so grateful I was able to say goodbye.  I am grateful that this lively and loving man was a part of my life and my children were able to know him.
 And I am grateful Mont and Grace, my grandparents, are now together again - I truly believe that they are.


Scott said...

You rock. That was very nicely put. We all loved this giant of a man. You are the best sis and oldest granddaughter of this man.

Beth at Aunties said...

This was tender and brought smiles. What a wonderful man and a honor to be part of his family. He sure left us a wonderful legacy and wonderful example.

heidivee said...

Wow, Natalie, what a beautiful tribute. He looks like a charmer. So glad he had loved ones to meet him. Together forever.

Anonymous said...

That was beautiful! Thank you for sharing. That we could all put those days into such a lovely story and one that is so comforting to even someone that did not know him or you either.
God Bless

Amanda said...

I'm sorry for your loss. What a wonderful tribute to his life. Thanks for sharing this with us.

Kevin said...

Very well put. I miss him already.