Grandpa K.

After little more than 96 years, my mother’s father shuffled off this mortal coil today. Unassuming, kind, generous, intelligent, well educated, artistic, and funny, I have yet to meet anyone more devoted to family than he was. While I am sure that everyone on the planet would agree that he was a good person, you had to be paying attention to really see just how amazing he was because he was so quiet about everything he did. He had a streak of honor that ran a mile wide and always strove to do the right thing because doing anything else would just be crazy. He couldn’t have cared less about recognition. For Grandpa, it was all about love.

And Grandpa had a lot of love to give. It was a subtle thing, rarely expressed directly beyond a wink and a smile, but I felt it every day and never doubted it. If you were watching, you could see it in the things he did. Everything he did was done out of love, either directly or as a means to the betterment of something else. Sometimes it was both, as embodied by the impressive garden he maintained over the years, feeding both his love of the outdoors and the desire to provide for his family.

There are so many things I could point to that remind me of Grandpa, but I think what I’m going to miss the most is his laugh. He had a wonderfully silly sense of humor and an infectious chuckle that got a lot of use. One of the traits we shared was a capacity to laugh at ourselves, so that laughter was heard often at the dinner table as we discussed things we’d learned during our day.

Family was everything to him and I am so, so grateful to have been a part of it. He taught me so much about happiness and how to be a good person just by being himself, lessons I am still learning. I hope that at the end of my life I can look back on it and imagine that he would have been almost as proud of what I did with it as I am of his. I love you, Grandpa. Forever.