We heard stories about how he would keep his yard perfectly groomed (and it is an ENORMOUS amount of yard to manage!) and how when the apples would start to fall, he would pick them up and take them to the horses down the road. And how he would save his grass clippings to take to the pasture at the same farm to help the mulching.
We heard about how he befriended a sweet little kiddo named Noah at church and how they became fast and fierce friends. How Noah would call "Mac!!!" when Grandpa would come in on Sundays. And how Noah loved trains as much as Grandpa did and how they could go on and on about them.
We heard about how long and how hard Grandpa would work as an Engineer for the B&O Railroad. We heard about how Grandma used to look for the steam of the train so she knew when to go pick him up at the station. We learned how he got a letter from her every single day when he was in Germany and Luxembourg during the war.
We learned that he was the source of many recent adventures...one involving driving around town at 2:00 am to make sure that others who were in need were able to be comfortable and taken care of in their final hours (and how he even managed to make such a difficult time like that one such a memorable and special one).
We learned how he was often one of the first to arrive and one of the last to leave when he went to area church and VFW dinners. Everyone knew him and everyone loved to talk to him.
Then there were a lot of things we already knew. That he was funny. VERY funny. And that he was kind. And that he knew how to sacrifice and save. That he is in Heaven with the God he loved and served.
We will miss him more than we can even predict. His passing was quick and unexpected but we are able to celebrate that he will never be lonely again. He can enjoy all the $0.25 pies Heaven has to offer (he was REALLY frugal here on earth!). He can enjoy perfect sight with no cataracts. He can enjoy meals far better than even the amazing feasts in Rockland. He can golf on courses far more incredible than even his cherished Myrtle Beach. He can see sights even more majestic than what he would marvel at in Colorado each year. He can reunite with all those who went before and were waiting expectantly for him. And the rest of us will look forward to joining him some day. And we know the first thing he'll say is "don't you want something more to eat? Come on, just finish up this corn. How about some more turkey? Ham? Eat!"
Love you and miss you Grandpa. http://www.thederrick.com/stories/01282008-1051.shtml