Love Overflowing

In memory….

Stephen’s grandfather passed away this week. He was a truly special man whom I will never forget.

I met Ray in the summer of 2002. He was 89 and still living on his own! I still remember most of the first time I met him. Stephen and I took him to lunch to Long John’s Silver’s I think. We then drove around town, getting the tour of all of the houses he used to live in and the landmarks from when he was younger. It was great! The memories that I have of Ray are so numerous to tell them all. Some of the most memorable and funny stories are worth telling though!

  • Ray took directions very liberally. His doctor told him that it was okay to eat graham crackers with his diet. He ate graham crackers alright! He ate the whole sleeve in one sitting!
  • He always welcomed me into his family with open arms. I celebrated his 90th birthday with all of his friends and family.
  • Ray was also very determined. He was always on the quest to find certain roads from his youth. He didn’t have any qualms about asking someone to call the street department to find out what happened!
  • He loved his country and was very proud of the fact that he had served in the military. His rooms, whether in his apartment or in the nursing home, were never without an American flag.
  • Ray was the one person at my wedding who made me cry. I did very well up until the Sign of the Peace was performed. He had tears in his eyes, hugged me tight and told me he was glad that I was part of the family. And that was the end of my dry streak.
  • Stephen’s grandfather LOVED music. Up until he couldn’t work his cassette deck, he would listen to his tapes, wave his finger and hum along with the tunes. It kept him going for the longest time. Music was his therapy.
  • He also played a mean harmonica! Even at 95, he would still occasionally break it out. I remember the last time I heard him play for us. It was this past July. Emily was fascinated and loved it.
  • Ray was a die-hard Cubs fan! If you were running out of things to talk about (which never happened) you could talk about the weather or the Cubbies.
  • He loved his family and was proud of each and every one of them.

Even though I only knew Ray for almost 7 years, I know that he was a really special man. He loved life and loved his family. He was proud of his children and grandchildren. I was also very proud of only great-grandchild. I am very glad that Emily got to meet him. She won’t know him when she gets older but she will know that he was a really special person.

We will be celebrating his 100 birthday with a party 2012. Emily will be 6 then. She might not understand fully but she will know that her great-papa was a really awesome person and love his family.

In memory of great-papa
December 21, 1912 – January 31, 2009

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