The Loss of Grandpa

Thursday, July 19, 2018 1 Comments A+ a-


He came into my life when I was eighteen years old, and only because I was dating his grandson. I don’t remember if it was Thanksgiving or Christmas the first time I officially met him, but regardless, I was invited over by the boyfriend and walked into a full room: parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandma, and the man who was already infamous for the stories Jon shared with me. 

I fell in love with Grandpa before I fell in love with Jon… Maybe it was the adoration that shone in Jon’s eyes every time he talked about him, maybe it was the way Grandpa's eyes twinkled, maybe it was the stories, or the way Grandpa so obviously loved his family, regardless, he had my heart almost from the first moment I met him.


I never had a grandfather around for the day-to-day moments, and I found a piece of that in Grandpa. While falling in love with his grandson, I gained a relationship with this beautiful man. It felt like a two-for-one special, and I was the clear winner in this deal.


The day that I’ve dreaded for the past twenty years finally came to pass, and he took his last breath on this earth yesterday. I can’t even begin to explain the void this life force has left… He was the spine, the glue, the strength that held this family together. He was everything my husband aspired to be, and I knew this moment was going to feel like the sucker punch it was. My mind keeps flashing with memories, and I just can’t wrap my head around this loss.

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Jon’s Jeep broke down often.  I’d often join him in Grandpa’s shop while three generations wrestled with the stubborn vehicle. Grandpa would wipe down a seat, or overturned bucket, and settle me in to keep them company. There’d be joking, cursing, frustration, and stories while they fixed whatever was wrong the Jeep this time. I lost track of the number of times Grandpa would tell Jon to get rid of it, that he was just wasting time and money on the stupid thing.

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A 50th wedding anniversary for Grandma and Grandpa. A whole evening dedicated to celebrating this amazing couple who weathered so many ups and downs throughout their marriage. I held hands with their grandson, hoping we would someday get to see our 50th anniversary too.

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A dance with that special man at our wedding.

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“I promise you both,” Grandpa swore, “I know what it’s like to hate your name, and I promise I’ll tell her that I tried my best to change your minds on hers.” It was an understatement that Grandpa didn’t approve of his great-granddaughter’s name, and he was passionate in expressing it. I choose to believe he eventually came around.

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Jon handing Grandpa a small bundle wrapped in pink in our delivery room. Grandma leaning around Grandpa’s shoulder to get a peek at their first great-grandchild. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room.

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Grandpa sitting at the head of the dining room table, Uncle Gary seated to his right and Jon seated at his left. The table full of family, good food, and love.

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Grandpa clearing the table and doing dishes, actions speaking loud that this was his contribution to the holidays.

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Grandpa holding Devyn Paige and giving our three-month-old her first taste of sugar with a small bite of ice cream. When objections arose, he declared it was a grandparent’s prerogative and a little sugar never hurt anyone. It was a battle I never fought again with the rest of my babies, and Grandpa always gave them their first taste of sugar.

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Grandpa holding our newborn son in another delivery room.

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Four generations of Glover men heading out for a fishing trip. A hand-off of a beige tackle box between great-grandfather and Hudson, with Hudson's name written in capital letters along the top.

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The Glover men high on the cabin roof, repairing shingles. Or gathering around large trees on the property, discussing the best way to fell the dead ones.

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Family gathered in the living room, a fire in the wood burning stove, sharing stories we’ve heard three, five, or eight times before. The laughter, the teasing, the affection.

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Grandpa and Grandma at Hudson’s ballgames, sitting together in camping chairs, rooting for their great-grandson.

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We've had years to get used to the idea of a life without him. During that time, I watched my husband grieve each hospitalization, each illness, and each moment that brought this reality closer. We said our goodbyes, some in private and some with a small audience. I can say with confidence that Grandpa was ready to go, he told me he ran his race and he was tired. So with that in mind, we rejoice in his new body and his reunion with loved ones that have gone before him.


I tearfully asked him in April, “What if we aren’t ready to say goodbye?” But I’m not sure we would have ever been ready to willingly let him go. After all, how do you say goodbye to one of the best men you’ve ever known? So until we see you again, Grandpa, make sure you save a spot for Jon on the riverbank next to you. And we’ll do our best to make sure your legacy lives on.

Thank you… for everything.

I’m a coffee drinking, book reading, laundry procrastinating, husband and children loving, mess of a woman who believes that chips and salsa can fix anything. We have chickens running around the backyard, a mountain of dishes in the sink, and on any given morning, I have at least 10 school forms that need my signature or initials. It’s a crazy life {I prefer to call it controlled chaos}, but its ours.

1 comments:

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Jenny Quld
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3:15 AM delete

Beautiful eulogy Jenn

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