The 62nd Year

Back in 2016 (Grandma & Grandpa's 62nd year together) I took photos of them in their beautiful home at the time. I knew that when I took these photos that they would be deeply cherished by myself and my family for generations to come; that this set would probably go down as one of the most sentimental and important portrait sessions I'd ever do for myself.  In 2016 Grandpa's health took a turn and I didn't know how much longer he'd be around when it seemed like with every mountain he'd get over, there would be another one waiting for him. On the morning of February 15th, 2018 I lost my sweet Grandpa peacefully in his sleep. But heaven gained one of the greatest angels that day and I can find peace knowing that he's in a much better place and that one day I will reunite with him. His last days were happy and I think all those close to him will always be able to carry an equally happy last memory together. I remember I came to visit him the day before Valentines Day, mom and I got him up for dinner and then we went to the dining room to set him down for his meal. As we waited for his food, I sat next to him as he enjoyed his coffee and hot chocolate combo, and then Grandma came to visit and showed him what she'd got him for Valentines Day the following day. His face lit up when he saw he had a can of mandarin oranges to look forward to. He let out a happy proclamation, "oh ya!" Shortly after she arrived, it was time for me to head home. I always made a point to hug him goodbye and tell him I loved him because I never knew when it would be the last time I'd have the opportunity to do so. In this particular moment, it's like a voice in my head told me to embrace this moment and take a mental picture not knowing it would be the last time I'd see him alive. I'm so glad that I did. I will always remember the simple hug I gave him as he sat and enjoyed his hot mocha, before telling him I loved him and saying goodbye. Sometimes it's the little things in life, and I'm so happy that I had him to love on for so long. He was precious to me. He instilled so many great values in me and I always valued his wise words, and his silly sense of humor if I needed some cheering up.  For a while, it seemed that I never visited with friends my age because I'd rather go to Grandma and Grandpa's house to visit with them. I always loved family gatherings, even if we didn't have anything to celebrate we would visit for hours and enjoy each other's company. Grandpa was able to witness every milestone of my life, be at every Birthday, attend my graduation, he married my husband and I, and he was even there the day my husband and I moved into our first home. He made a multitude of stained glass lamp shades and we even got to make one together just years before. It continues to sit in the entry way of my living room along with two others that had been given to me for my wedding gift and house warming gift.  I adored him so much. Even when things were quite I still loved being next to him. He'd eat corn on the cob unlike anybody I'd ever met (He'd have bruises on his chin the following day), spoil me with treats every time I came to visit and give me many little gifts and knick knacks that he'd pick up over the years because they reminded him of me whenever he'd go to a thrift store or garage sale. He was one of the most thoughtful people and it was so evident that he cared so deeply about everyone he knew and met. Strangers were family and he loved everybody. Growing up when I'd spend Summers at their house while mom was away at work, my brother and I would get treated to breakfast at one of their favorite joints downtown. Sometimes we'd walk there and before we'd go home we would throw Grandpa's pocket full of pennies into the fountain nearby.  Anytime he'd go to the grocery store it was tradition that he'd bring us home a candy bar, or let us pick one out if we were with him. He regularly came home with a new Disney movie or other classic flicks and now I fully understand where my serious love for Disney and old movies stems from. I could go on and on, but you'll see here just how much he loved Grandma. He'd get so choked up and emotional just staring at her when I took these photos. He made my heart melt whenever he'd look at her because the special love that he shared with her just radiated off of him. I'm so glad that I have such precious photos to admire and pass down to my future kids. It was a blessing to be a part of his life and an even bigger honor to be his Granddaughter. 

July 21st, 1931 - February 15th, 2018