Today my Grandfather, Stan De Young, would have been 89 years old.
He was such a funny guy, WWII vet, part of that generation who just knew how to fix anything. He wore safari hats with mosquito netting to keep the bugs out, he puttered around the garage for hours at a time, maybe tweaking the lawn mower, putting more things in more jars or 'fixing' something he found with his welder.
There are still little notes around the cottage that he wrote, warning on not to do this, or do this exactly this way, I hope they stay there. I'm glad we have 'the shrine' at our house. the shrine is on top of our entertainment center. We have Grandma and Grandpa's cremains in a decorative box, surrounded by a lovely frame Grandpa made with a pic of both of them as young adults. On the side is Grandpa's pipe collection. He quit smoking when I was very young, but I still remember the smell of his cherry tobacco.
Whenever I'm missing Grandma, I open up the coupon organizer that came from her house and inhale deeply. It smells just like her! I try not to open it too much, so the smell lasts.
He passed in December of 2002, 9 months after my Grandma did. The night before, he was with us at church to see the Children's musical. Thank God someone had the idea to take a picture. Grandpa, Mom, Dave, Erica, Victoria, Alexis and Me, in a picture less than 24 hours before he died. How often does that happen?? I'm so glad we got it.