Home » Home » In Gratitude

In Gratitude

On Sunday evening, the world lost a great, great man. My grandfather, Warren Greenwood Smith (how’s that for a name!), passed away peacefully at 91, surrounded by family. As I was growing up and beginning to be cognizant of things like mortality, I realized that soon enough,  I would lose one of my four grandparents who were all living still. I thought particularly about how I would feel when it happened, but the reality is pretty far from my dramatic high school fantasies. What I feel most is gratitude; Grandpa’s life gave so very much to all who were lucky enough to know him and even luckier to be loved by him.

Grandpa, thank you for being so open to life: 11 kids, 22 grandkids, and (for now) 11 great-grandkids.

219177_2003719729650_7993288_o 944117_10200794742964556_1802628182_n 290944_2096413104032_657055_o

Thank you for being ever child-like, sharing authentic joy with us as children in simple things like home-made Olympic challenges in the yard, eating breakfast in the sugar shack cooked on the wood stove, and tractor rides around the fields.

Thank you for building your retirement home from scratch in your 60s, so your kids and grandkids could live the dream, exploring your 24 acres in the Finger Lakes, tapping maple syrup in the winters, swimming in the pond in the summers, camping under the stars, sledding, campfires, forest scavenger hunts, and more.

Thank you for showing us that each of us mattered to you, even though there were so many of us. For all the musicals you drove down to see, the soccer and lacrosse games you watched, and the utter joy you took in each tiny new life to join our family.

216650_1009331564918_4837_n

 

 

901109_4603421694925_2045759408_o

 

919375_4603416894805_1172647864_o

 

904904_10200538464397752_1613580997_o

 

922191_10200538497038568_498977949_o

Thank you for being an adventurer, for traveling the world with my family: 3 weeks in Italy and 2 in Ireland, plus the many, many trips you took with Nanny. Your meticulous records could be made into a travel guide.

Thank you for being a romantic: for swing dancing with your wife — even at my wedding, at 89! For not being afraid to ask out a girl with a ring already on her finger, and for showing us all how much you loved Nanny in words and actions.


616239_3436337398547_1415710272_o

 

210715_3436336918535_1826357049_o

 

427446_10200186280156724_1577187805_n

Thank you for everything you made with your hands, the countless hours you worked to support your family, all the moments you forged on ahead through difficulties with your characteristic stoic strength. Thank you for serving your country, your family, your God. You are a class act, a true gentleman, and the most loving of souls. You will be greatly missed.

 919726_10200636721454117_881148769_o 966193_10200636718654047_1938147747_o

May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

Advertisements

10 thoughts on “In Gratitude

  1. We still talk about how remarkable your grandparents were, swinging away, at your wedding reception. We are sorry for your loss but rejoice in your beautiful memories! We will offer our rosary for him and will keep you, the family, in our prayers during this time. 🙂
    +Eternal rest grant unto him, Oh Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him…+

    • Thanks so much, Joanna! I’ll never forget them dancing either– what a treat! We are so thankful for your prayers too!!

  2. Nicole, this is very beautiful and touching. My dad would have been proud of what you say here, although, because he was so humble and stoic Mainer, he wouldn’t have wanted to be fussed over too much! Looking forward to seeing you at the funeral celebration of Dad’s life.

  3. Pingback: Seven Quick Takes- freezers of meat & paci regression |

  4. Pingback: 2014: Our Year in Review |

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s