This week we said good-bye to my grandfather, Ed. Or Gramps, as he was affectionately called by me. I was his Becks.
The last few years of his life have been hard - he was diagnosed with emphysema not long after his beloved wife - my Grandma Nora - died of lung cancer. You can guess that they were lifelong smokers by these ailments. We've known for some time that it was only a matter of time, but like the Boy Who Cried Wolf and Fred Sanford before him, he's been telling all of us every time we spoke that might be the last conversation we'd have with him. If I had known when I spoke with him at the end of August that this time he was telling the truth, I might have made more of an effort to go down and see him one last time.
As it was, I got the news that he was in the hospital while I was off in Indianapolis for a work event. They told us he probably had 2-3 more weeks to live since he had specifically requested that he NOT go on a ventilator. The next day they transferred him to a hospice facility where he died. Like the funny guy and consumate sports fan that he was, his last words to my uncle were about the poor Mets who failed to make it to the playoffs.
We spent the last 3 days down in LA with my family - my sister, niece & her husband and my mom - all convened on San Gabriel Valley to pay our final respects to this warm, loving, funny man. I held up pretty well but at the end of his memorial service I couldn't stop crying. While he's been a big old pain in the arse these past few years, I'm going to miss the old guy. We spent the trip telling each other funny stories about him and because he was such a great person, there was no shortage of stories.
So long Gramps.
Us at Hamilton Air Force Base when him and my mom came to visit in October 2004. He was stationed there back during his military days.
Even though he was a proud Glendoran, he loved San Francisco and the time he spent here back in his youth.
During the last few years of his life, he laid off the Bud Light and discovered the glory of wine. While he was out here, we took him up to Napa and showed him the good stuff. We couldn't get him to convert from his $2 Charles Shaw Chardonnay, but he had a blast this day.