Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My Grandpa!

Chris presenting my Grandma with the flag.

My brother Chris is a Major in the National Guard and performed the military service for my Grandpa. Here he's saluting my Grandma.

My sweet nephew Emilio was an honorary pall bearer. He wanted so badly to help carry the casket so he joined in. So cute!

Eric was one of the pall bearers.

This is my Grandpa and Grandma Dickinson

Last Tuesday my grandpa passed away and I didn't want to miss the opportunity to write down my feelings about him.

My Grandpa was no ordinary Grandpa. He was a hero to me. My Grandpa was gruff and at times scared me, but he was the first to wipe tears from his eyes when family was involved. I once told my cousin "Grandpa scares me and she said aw he's a big teddy bear"....she was right. He taught me to be proud of the family name and embrace the people that came before us. He grew up in Panguitch a little town in Southern Utah. He had a lots of property up at Pangutich Lake along with a cabin there. I learned to love Panguitch Lake merely because he loved it. So many good memories there for me. He would give anyone the shirt off his back. He taught all of us kids to work hard. Nothing in life comes without hard work. He taught us to stay out of debt. Save up for the things you need and then purchase them. He loved my Grandma and I never doubted that.

Now when I say he was my hero there are many reasons for that. When I was 18 my parents got divorced. My Mom was faced with needing an affordable place for her and her 6 children to live. There weren't many options available for our family so my Grandpa and Grandma moved out of their house in Cedar City and moved into a condo so we would have a place to live. Our van was totally falling apart and he made sure we had a reliable car to drive. There were many little extras that us kids needed so they always made sure we were provided for. He was a great man. He always gave advise (whether you wanted it or not). Some of his words of wisdom were "always check your oil" and "never pay full price for a car there's another dealership down the road if they won't give you the price yo want". He loved to cook for his family. The sourdough pancakes were my favorite. The stuffed mushrooms are a close second. He always sent us home with a loaf of sourdough bread.

Grandpa had been on oxygen for the past 16 years. I never thought we would get to have him for that long with being on the oxygen. He always took the opportunity to tell anyone that the biggest mistake he made was ever smoking. He had been sick for about 6 weeks and was diagnosed with pneumonia. When he didn't get better they did further tests and found that he had lung cancer. They gave him 3-6 months. When he went home on hospice last Monday I think he just couldn't do it anymore. Later that night he had a stroke and died later that Tuesday. When I got the phone call I hurried home and headed to Cedar City. I got there an hour before he died. I got to kiss that bald head one last time. He fought hard to take care of my Grandma and he was tired. I am glad now he's heaven telling his silly jokes and visiting with my cousin Kim.

He was a great man that I loved. There are many people in our lives that touch us in a way that we can't quite put into words and that's how I feel about him. I hope to live up to his example and remember that family is everything. I love you Grandpa and look forward to the day I get to hear those lame jokes again.


gmakathy said...

A very nice tribute. He loved you too...

Km said...

I'm glad you made it. He was a great guy and really loved our family.

Joni Marie Marshall said...

Angie, that is a wonderful tribute to a wonderful man. We love you!

Jer + Lu said...

What a great man. Sounds like you have some special memories to forever cherish.