Monday, October 29, 2012

Remembering Grandpa

On Oct. 20, 2012, Grandpa Wertz passed away at age 98 -- and he left quite a hole. While Grandpa Wertz was Andrew's grandfather, not mine, he immediately accepted me into his family when I joined it in 2010. In fact (although no one actually saw this happen), he kissed me right on the lips at our wedding, which absolutely caught me off guard. That and his "pole dance" at the reception when he and other family members were holding the tent down during the storm. He was 96!

Unfortunately, I don't have a good relationship with my paternal grandfather, and my maternal grandfather passed away in 2009 and never met Andrew and will never meet my own children (at least in this life). But Grandpa Wertz opened his heart to everyone he met and was always incredibly kind to me -- and he was sharp up until the end of his life. He remembered that I was from Idaho and always asked about my family. He served as an LDS branch president in Bermuda and noticed when I wore a flower in my hair, asking me if I was wearing it on the "right side." Fortunately, I was always wearing it on the left side (which, according to island tradition, means that you're taken).

And Grandpa Wertz remembered that I love music and asked me to sing and play the piano for him, which I enjoyed doing -- but not as much as he liked hearing it. I'm not the world's greatest pianist, but I will never forget playing hymns for him about two months ago at his home when he wasn't feeling well and watching his face light up with joy.

I loved Grandpa Wertz very much, and I wish I had told him more often how much he meant to me. But I could feel his presence at his funeral on Saturday, especially when the soldiers honored Grandpa with a 21-gun salute at the cemetery and Andrew played "Taps" on his trumpet (which I know he would have loved). I could feel him there when I and several other granddaughters/granddaughters-in-law sang "Till the End of Time." And I could feel him there as so many people discussed his extraordinary life, especially the way he served others as a home teacher until he couldn't leave his home -- and then they came to visit him.

Thanks for the memories, Grandpa. I know I'll see you again and be able to meet your beloved Jean for the first time, too. You've made such an impact on my life.

1 comment:

  1. Very sweet!!! He was such a loving and accepting man! How lucky we are to be in his family. You will love Grandma just as much!


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