My Grandpa Judd passed away on Monday - unexpected yet expected, he was 86. Within 3 hours of finding out he wasn't doing well, he peacefully died with many of us surrounding his bed. He went to church on Sunday with Grandma - what a great place to spend your last day on earth.
Memories have flooded my mind all week (well, I guess it's been just 2 days but it's felt like a week already). As I sat and stood by his bed talking to him and just holding his hand, rubbing his arm, and stroking his hair (he would have hated that! :) in his final hours, I couldn't help but remember how much he loved me. Even as his mind failed these past few years, he nearly always told me he loved me and that I was pretty. I know he could hear me as I told him I loved him and as I brought my boys in to say goodbye to a man they didn't have the privilege of knowing very long. He would have loved them as he loved all of us - his babies as he fondly called us.
He made the best swiss steak, ham, and eggs & bacon (with a side of Roselyn's coffeecake). He was an excellent gardner and had an orchard and grape arbor in addition to his garden. He teamed well with Grandma - he lovingly tended his plants and trees while Grandma made the best sweet pickles, grape jelly, and apple crisp! Grandpa loved to tell us about how he wooed my Grandma and how lucky he was. He regaled us with stories of growing up, the navy, and of course, about our Dad. He was proud to be a pharmicist and hoped one of us would follow in his footsteps (he was proud of us even though none have, so far).
I loved going to his house. I knew I would be spoiled and I knew I would have the opportunity to paint ceramics. He taught me how to pour molds - the precision and patience necessary to make a good piece of bisque. He showed me how to paint, how to choose colors, and especially how to make the perfect eyes on my animals. He made each of us a lamp and even my boys have a music box he painted. He loved ceramics!
Grandpa, I will miss you more than I could ever express. Your unfailing love was more than any of us deserved. You were always proud of me and all of my family. I'll miss your kisses, your smiles, your jokes, your hugs, your squeezing my hand, your compliments, and your steak but most of all I'll just miss YOU. You were a wonderful Grandpa and I will always love you.