Grandpa's wake is today. It will be the first time that most of us have seen him since he left us. It will be a difficult time for all of us.
Deidra and I are at the Badlands Brew waiting for Grandma to get her hair done at the beautician. Deidra, Dad, and I took her to mass this morning and then to breakfast before her hair appointment. None of her daughters said they would take her, even though one of them took Grandma's only mode of transportation: her van. It is frustrating Mom and Dad and Deidra and I to see her being treated this way by her own daughters. But they will leave and Grandma can live her life the way she wants. She is such a humble woman to just do as they want and not say anything.
Both her and Grandpa were/are like that. Grandpa was so humble that we didn't know much of anything about him until we were reading the obituary. We didn't know that he was in the Civilian Conservation Corps, an airplane mechanic in the Navy in WWII in the South Pacific Theater, that he painted prolifically, and that he collected different kinds of barbed wire. Sitting here, I can smell him. I can smell how Grandpa smelled. Such a beautiful gift.
Deidra, Mom and I went with Grandma to the house that she shared with Grandpa yesterday. She wanted us to take a few things before anyone else got to them. We found some of Grandpa's paintings. Not even counting the ones still at the farm, there were over 50 paintings. Each of us picked one out, and one for Dad. We found one for Mom with a rose, since when Mom and Dad first got married, Grandpa brought her a rose every day when he came out to the farm. It was the last rose from him to her.
Myself, I was on a mission. Grandpa said the last time I talked to him, while talking about teaching German to 5th graders, that I could have the Haich Family German bible. I asked Grandma about it and she said that she didn't know where it was. I had to find this last beautiful gift from Grandpa. Walking around, I stopped at his desk. There it was, tucked in the corner. It has names of nieces and nephews, and the day that people were born and died; all in German. Grandpa made sure I got it before anyone else did.
Then Grandma also let us go through most of her jewelry and pick out pieces. I found some beautiful necklaces and rings, and the rings are the EXACT size I am. I now have some of my Grandma's rings.
I will write more later. Leaving to get Grandma.
Here is the obituary.