So it would appear as though I have been chosen to give my grandfather's eulogy at the service this Sunday...I have no idea what I am doing or what is required, but hopefully its good enough....
Growing up, we used to pile into the car every Sunday and head out to Tecumseh to visit grandpa. Golf was always on the television, polka music played daily on the turntable, and the goose out front of the house was appropriately dressed for every holiday and season. What started out as playing house when Travis and I were toddlers turned into hitting golf balls across the road into the field as we grew older. He had a passion for golf that he passed on to his son and attempted to pass on to his grandson, buying Travis his first clubs, encouraging him into taking lessons, and taking him out on the course a few times himself.
Grandpa was by no means perfect, though, and could definitely be described as a cranky old fart. Despite him being the one with the hearing aid, he seemed to have thought it was everyone else that was deaf; and lord forbid you didn’t understand him and he had to repeat himself. An entire conversation between him and my mother could be heard from two rooms over in our house—and she wouldn’t even have it on speakerphone.
He was above all his own man. A World War II veteran, he’d be damned if he had to walk with a cane and he rarely grumbled of his ailments. At eighty-seven years old, he complained less than most kids my age. Still, it wasn’t until recently that he discovered his faith and found peace with death. Before Taylor was born, grandpa was never considered a religious man. Seventeen years later, Sunday service replaced golf on the television. He was never a man who imposed on others his beliefs, despite him being an opinionated guy. His independence sometimes got the better of him and he refused to ask for help or a handout when he might need one—I have no doubt I inherited much of this from him and am proud to admit it—but he would drop anything and everything to be there for those he loved. If something happened with Taylor, he better not hear about it from anybody but my mother or father and definitely not a few days after it occurred. It pained him that his son lived overseas, where he was unable to travel; but he was nonetheless proud of Troy’s accomplishments. His daughter—my mother—came to envelope much of his strength, and his pride for her showed in his weekly visits out to the house, despite his declining health.
I have always been an avid reader. When I was younger, in some book I have long forgotten, there was illustrated the belief that the stars were heaven’s windows, the angels’ way to watch over us. I, however, believe God designed the universe to give us more comfort than with just the stars. Clouds are the angels’ playgrounds. Hopping from one to another, following us in our travels, sailing smoothly through the sky. After hearing his booming voice through the years, made rough from a surgery needed due to countless cigarettes smoked (silent applause for him quitting cold turkey decades ago), he will always now be heard in a storm’s thunder: strong enough to be independent of the lightening.