On 21 November 2016, my grandfather was called home to heaven.
My grandfather was just shy of his 81st birthday and left behind my grandmother, 4 kids 7 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren.
My grandfather lived a long, full, adventurous life. From a young age the ocean was in his blood. He served in the Navy for many years; and long after his retirement he volunteered on many Naval Association Committees. He received many honors and awards for his work with the Navy.
My grandfather lived a wonderful life of adventure thanks to the Navy taking him to many a far off destinations. In his younger years he met the love of his live, my grandmother, and after a short 1 month engagement they were married, and in typical Navy Sailor form, my grandfather went to sea just 1 week after saying I Do. Due to his sailing life, my grandmother was left to mostly raise 3 boys and a daughter. They lived in a wonderful countryside home, just across the field where my grandmother was born and raised.
My grandfather was always one to do what he wanted when he wanted, which at times seemed frustrating, but also allowed him to live the life he wanted. He got to see, do and experience everything in life that was on his bucket list. He had a fond love for card and board games, and a visit wasn't the same without either. My grandfather loved food, and was a walking restaurant guide.
My grandfather was fond of family and always looking out for everyone. Right up until the end he always planned ahead. He ensured my grandmother was well taken care of, and even had our 2016 Christmas presents planned well before his passing.
My grandfather always had a joke or story to tell. We all joked that he should have written a book of his adventures.
It's a hard adjustment knowing he isn't around anymore, but I take great strength in knowing he isn't suffering anymore. He was taken from us much too soon and unexpectedly, even though he had some health challenges in the last year of his life.
I'm lucky we were able to get home and experience one last holiday with my grandfather. Dh and I made the trip back home for Thanksgiving and we were able to spend it with my grandparents (much to their surprise as they weren't expecting us). We were able to get one last Parcheesi game in, and in classic style, my grandfather won.
Even though my grandfather is no longer here I know he is present everyday. I've received "signs" from him that he is still around (like the one on his 1 month passing) and on Christmas Eve. I was able to say my good byes for now to him and let him know how proud I was to call him my grandfather.
For now we must say goodbye until we see you again. We will keep the card and board games going...
Fair Winds and Following seas.