Be Good Not Bad by Brian Warren

14 December 2005

Papa

While I was in Dallas over thanksgiving we spent a lot of time with my grandpa. We had a fantastic time and really enjoyed talking and spending time with him. Most of the family who could showed up because we all knew he was really sick. We had 28 people eating together for the thanksgiving meal. It was awesome. Check my flickr for some photos from Thanksgiving.

Papa died on Sunday morning.

I miss him already. He is the first person who I really knew in my family to die, which to me seems pretty weird. I’m pushing 30 (yeah, I realize that’s not terribly old, but the point is…), which means for nearly 30 years, no family member that I was close to has died. I’m really fortunate.

Speaking of being fortunate I’m so thankful I was able to say goodbye. I knew at the time that spending Thanksgiving was important and special. I was thankful for it as it happened, but the moment I found out about his death, it hit me really hard how awesome it was.

Grandpa Skeeters with his sister.

He was a good man and lived a full life. He was a bomber pilot in the Army Air Corps in WWII, and a father of five kids, grandfather of 19 and a great-grandfather of a growing number of kids. He had his faults, but man he was fun to hang out with. He helped me build a pinewood derby race car when I was in Cub Scouts, smoked a pipe when he was a bit younger, and once commandeered some cases of beer from a brewery in Japan after the war. He and his guys loaded it in their bomber plane, and took it up to 9,000 feet to chill it down.

I’m learning to grieve. It’s a good process. I’m not really liking it so far though. I’m glad I’m sad, because I wouldn’t want to not miss him.

His funeral was today and the burial is friday. I have the honor of being a pallbearer. I hope we can send him off well.