"Grief is the price you pay for love." C. S. Lewis
He lived a life very full, a life with legacy of love. He enjoyed bird hunting, fishing, and westerns. He deeply loved his family. He was a caregiver to many and a man who helped any in need. He married the love of his life Lois and cared for her throughout her 10 plus year battle with dementia.
He was something entirely different to me. To me: he was a hero, he was my safety net, my confidant, my cheerleader, a friend. He helped raise me, shape me, and guide me into the person I am now. He was an enormous presence in my life.
"he's salt on watermelon- and in beer, he's crossword puzzles, and old t-shirts."
The biggest lesson I carry with me of my Grandfather is one of unconditional love. I know that as I grew, there were times I did things I'm sure he didn't like. However, I knew, without a doubt that, no matter what I did, he would always love me. This for me personally, was huge.
To me, he is now, every cup of coffee I drink, he's salt on watermelon- and in beer, he's crossword puzzles, and old t-shirts. He's hunting dogs and fishing poles. He's waking up at 4:30am, he's watching "Law and Order". He's fried chicken and mashed potatoes, he's a Christmas card, and a thousand memories. I'll carry him.
I hope that at the end of my life- I am as loved- and as known for love as my Grandpa. He died peacefully in his bed, dressed and ready to go. He left this world with the dignity in which he lived. I have many lessons from this man, I value them all.
~In Loving Memory of Donald "Duke" Abbott~