My grandfather was a surveyor for the state of New York, then a college professor, then a justice of the peace, then a county supervisor, then a doting grandpa. My grandmother was the CEO of her household.
My grandfather was a master woodworker. Everyone in our family has many pieces of furniture hand-crafted by Grandpa. He built the house they lived in for 60 years with his bare hands in 1948. My grandmother was the best whistler I've ever heard, and collected Harlequin romance novels for 30 years (she had over 1000. I got bored one summer and counted).
I just remember long summer days swimming in their pool next to the river, listening to stories of the good old days.
They celebrated 62 years of marriage before they died within months of each other. I never heard them say one ill word against the other. Every morning, my grandfather would kiss my grandma on the head and say "Good morning, beautiful."
My grandfather once told me of marriage, "Just pick someone and make it work. It's that simple, and sometimes real hard."
My grandfather passed away from COVID that ravaged his nursing home. My grandmother passed away from a different condition that came on suddenly. COVID-19 prevented me from attending either of their funerals, as they occurred in New York State. I was FaceTimed in for both of them, and was honored to write their eulogies. Not being with my family at this time has been really painful. Funerals are hard enough when you have a group of loved ones to lean on; attending one alone in my bedroom is not something I ever wish to relive. Now, my family continues on clearing out their house of 6 decades of memories to eventually sell to someone else. I am trying to tell myself it's "just stuff."
I would like to thank them for being role models in all ways. They were pillars of their community, involved with their neighbors, kind to everyone. I would like to thank them for being in the front row of every show I was ever in. For keeping a scrapbook of every one of my accomplishments in their house that I didn't know about until their passing. I'm lucky I had grandparents as long as I did. I wish I'd called them more.