My dear, beloved Rock of the family. My Grandfather.
My grandpa is, was, and will be the only man I know who could look at me and see right through me. He KNEW me! He loved me and I loved him beyond everything man, material, cosmic, and heavenly.
He led a very long, experienced and good life. He was born in Indiana if I recall correctly, he served in the Navy where he met his long time wife, love, and pain in his ass my grandmother. He would goat her like no one’s business, life to him was to be enjoyed. They met when she was young, she was 16 and he was 23, and on a blind date, arranged by her friend. Grandma said it was love at first site! Grandma and Grandpa have five children, 10 grandchildren, and nine great grandchildren.
Grandpa loved life and said if life was not enjoyed by you, it was not worth living. He told me that once when I was a little girl when we were handling his horse and that statement has stuck with me ever since.
He had many horses actually. He is and was my original cowboy. If ever you thought of a cowboy he was THE ONE. Rough, soft hands, tall and lean, strong and wiry. He was stern and gentle, sweet and saucy, mean and quiet all at once. You could smell the sweat and dirt on his Stetson (I can still recall the smell to this day), manure and dirt on his boots, the smell of the warm denim of his jeans, the leather from his chaps and saddle, the smell of a pipe or a cigarette lingering in his shirt mingled with the warm smell of cologne, a Polo brand. He was something to be reckoned with and a sight to see. I have only seen him angry once and he was never a man to fear, he was a man who demanded a sort of respect I have not seen to this day.
Grandpa had a story for everything. He was the man of the hour to take you on his lap, tell you all you needed to know about baseball and basketball, Horses and cars, life, men, and women. He was so wise beyond his years. He was not perfect but he was perfect to me. He loved his family like none other, family is, was, and will always be his life. He was my life. I could spend hours staring into his bold blue eyes, the eyes that never faded or changed with age, they were electric, all knowing, all loving, and you could always see his spunk.
I carry an immense amount of guilt though with his passing yesterday (October 17, 2009). All week I meant to email my grandmother to find the right time to come see him where he would not be uncomfortable. His health had deteriortated rapidly from when I saw him at Christmas. So a visit would almost incapicitate him, so I wanted to schedule time where I would leave the kids at home. Where I could have time with him alone as I knew this would upset his schedule. I never sent the email. I never got to see him one last time. I am riddled with guilt, at a loss. I wanted to tell him how much I loved him, how he was my rock for the last 31 years, that I would be lost without him but I knew I would take his strength, his love to conquer all that I have. That because of him I have never lost sight, I always went for the impossible, I made the impossible possible because he knew I could do it. He told me never let anything get in the way of something profound and meaningful in your life.
Grandpa knew I had an unbridled fury for life and for exploring life. Grandpa and I were and are one in the same. We shared our secrets, he never judged and we knew how important we are and were to one another, how he still is my eternal love, he is the most genuine being I have ever met. Everything he said he meant, he used his words wisely. He taught me that I could be a lady, a girl, a woman, a mother, a tom-boy, and always be beautiful. He taught me to dance and to love Sinatra, he taught me to dance to Sinatra (Luck be a Lady) and the man could dance like a pro, as if he had clouds under his feet.
My dear Grandpa Dan, I know you are at peace, but selfish me wants you back, to give you your breath and take away the hurt and pain for one more day to spend with you, but in the words of Frank, you always did it your way!
I love you, your oldest Granddaughter, Kare Babe.