This past weekend, we had the viewing and graveside services for my Grandpa Allen, who passed away on Labor Day. I hope he found some ironic humor in that. He was a good man, and I'll always remember his bone-crushing hugs and the way he called me "Danny." (He was the only one who could get away with it, so don't get any ideas!)
I'll be honest, I found myself not feeling much when I first heard. But now, I feel mostly regret. I hardly knew my Grandpa Allen. I don't know much about how he grew up, what he liked in school, or what happened to him in the war. He hardly spoke - like most wise men, he let my grandma do most of the talking. However, that meant none of us really ever knew what he was thinking on a given topic. The more I thought about it, though, the more I realized that was exactly the way he wanted it to be. I think he enjoyed keeping to himself.
His passing also generated some fabulous "Isms" that I just had to add, and that I think he would have gotten a good chuckle out of.
As I was looking at pictures of grandpa, Jack climbed up into my lap. I paused on a specific picture that really showed off grandpa's tattoos - a souvenir from his time in the navy. Jack pointed at his arms and stated, "He all muddy." I bet there are folks out there that wish their tattoos were as easy to wash off as mud.
Then, the day of the viewing, we had loaded up the kids and given them a brief description of what the day would be like. As we pulled into the mortuary, Cole asked from the back seat, "Is this heaven?" Can you even imagine if it was?! Worst heaven ever.
The viewing was well attended and the graveside was simple but meaningful. I think Grandpa would have approved.