Monday, November 17, 2008

Well, I finally did it. Total overload.

After 14 days, 3 separate trips in 2 countries, 4 airplanes, thousands of miles, 400 plus photos, one speeding ambulance ride, and 3 beds that are not my own, I'm spent. D.O.N.E. Not going anywhere farther than 15 minutes from home for as long as I can stand it. (Two weeks, I figure.)

Of course there was much fun in Mexico with our crew of 18. And more good times RVing it with friends in the Kibbie Dome parking lot for the University of Idaho game this weekend. I will share lots more about those adventures than any of you probably care to hear about as soon as I get my head above the piles of laundry.

But before I disappear for another day or two, I want to take a moment and share a little bit of Golightly family sadness and joy all rolled up into one. Mr. G's grandfather passed away while we were out of the country. So as soon as we got off the plane we started packing the car to head north for his services. My sweet strong husband was pretty overcome with grief. Not because it was sudden. Grandpa Darrell has been battling Parkinson's Disease for years. His last years at the Veterans home were difficult at best. It was hard to watch the patriarch of this family have his life shrink so unjustly. I can't help but wonder what the lesson is there. God and I have been having quite a few chats about that sort of thing lately. What keeps coming back to me, is that for some reason all of us who were so cared for over the years by Darrell - by his success in the dairy business. By his dedication to his family. By his committment to his country and community. By his example of strength and honesty, and above all LOVE. Maybe we needed to take care of him for a while. To learn how strong and kind and generous we can be.

I'm not sure. I guess it's not for me to know. But what I do know is that I want to strive to live the kind of life that when I die there are people packing into a church to say the kinds of things about me that people said about Darrell. He influenced so many of us in so many ways.

All of his grandkids were asked to say something about him at the start of the service. Mr. G wrote his speach with a lot of trepidation. He was so sure he wouldn't be able to make it all the way through without being overcome by tears. And he really wanted to be able to tell everyone how much love and respect he had for his grandfather. As it turns out, he didn't make it through the whole thing. In fact, he barely made it through the first line. But I think his emotion made it a sweeter tribute to his hero.

We love you Grandpa. Thank you for teaching my husband how to be a great man.

When I would think of what I would say today, I wasn't sure what I would be able to get through. I could go on for hours about the lessons he taught and the memories he created for me...from our horse pack trips as a child, to getting up at 5 in the morning to change pipe along side him as a visits with him at the lake and cabin as a young adult. But I wouldn't make it through more than 5 minutes of the details of those memories right now, so I am going to keep it brief.

Grandpa taught me through his example about the satisfaction of honest/hard work, the value in caring and compassion for others, the rewards of giving your gifts to others. If you look around our family today there are numerous examples of his influence in our lives. Each of us has taken a little bit of his work ethic, his charm, his honesty and his big heart. Thank you Grandpa for everything you have given us, we have inherited a tremendous set values and benefit every day from the fruits of your hard work.

(A big thank you to Mr. G for letting me post his words. And to my outlaw sister Scarlett who took that beautiful photo and posted it on her blog where I swiped it without even asking.)

See you in a few.