I learned early this morning that you have journeyed on to whatever comes next. I keep trying to focus on work, but I keep thinking about you.
I’m not sure I ever truly thanked you for your insistence that I continue to write. I still remember years ago when you encouraged me to start a blog. I thought, “If my grandpa can start a blog, surely I can too.”
That little blog turned into a website. My website turned into publications. As I pursued my writing, you were there by my side.
You encouraged me every step of the way as I honed my craft and it is because of you that I have a career. I will never be able to thank you enough for your encouragement.
I remember visiting your house in Orem when I was a child. I would stand in your TV room and look through your collection of books. I thought your floor to ceiling bookshelves were amazing. I would run my finger down the spine of various books in your collection and wonder if I would ever read as much as you.
I still wonder if I will.
I remember your boxes of books in the basement. We would sift through them in between riding the old creaky metal horse back and forth with as much gusto as we could muster. I’m surprised we never broke it.
I remember spending a few weeks with you and grandma before I started my sophomore year in college. I bought my college books early and spent the better part of my time in your home curled up on the couch reading every book for my Honors English class.
You were the only one I knew with a Nintendo when I was little. We would play Mario and that space shooter game for hours, or so it seemed.
I loved stopping by your office when I was in college. It was always warm, filled with even more books and so inviting. You always gave me a big hug and welcomed me inside. It felt like the calm in my college storm.
My memories are very disorganized this morning as I think of you. A few weeks ago, we were able to help pack up your home. We brought home some chairs, a rocking chair, and a few of your many books.
They have even more meaning now. Your cedar chest rests at the foot of my bed. We are lovingly restoring kitchen chairs that have been around as long as I can remember. A few of those books from my childhood now sit atop my bookshelves.
Rest peacefully, dear grandpa and know that you have left a legacy of your love of flowers, words, and photography.
Love always and forever,
Your oldest grandchild