No Regrets

Gramps died last November. In his final weeks, with a terminal cancer diagnosis running him down, I heard him respond to every person who visited or called on the phone that tried to express their grief and concern for him with a single phrase.

“I have no regrets and I’m not afraid.”

I could hear his words echo in my head on Saturday morning as we gathered outside the same church he was married in to bury his remains in the family plot. Our family dug the hole ourselves, as was his wishes, we sang the doxology and afterwards we listened to Granny’s stories about their wedding and Christmas pageants in the church they both grew up in. As we left the kids rang the church bells. I watched my nephew leave the ground holding on to the rope, kicking his legs all about, trying to ring that big bell, laughing through the tears as I remembered all the times Gramps had gotten my brother in just the same predicament.

Then we went home to the farm he lived on his entire life for a picnic lunch, a rousing game of baseball with the kids, (the kind that would have found him on the pitcher’s mound for sure) and an afternoon of fishing off the pier. Because he was a farmer who knew when to work and when to play too.

I can’t think of a more fitting way for the family to say one last goodbye to a remarkable man who lived a life that allowed him to look everyone in the eye at the end of it and say, with a boy scout’s honor…

 

“I have no regrets and I’m not afraid.”

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7 comments on “No Regrets

  1. Su Leslie says:

    What a beautiful way to pay tribute to your grandfather πŸ™‚

  2. junekearns says:

    Wonderful, Jessie.

  3. jenanita01 says:

    A brave man indeed. I hope I am as brave when my time comes!

  4. Georgia Rose says:

    Lovely post, Jessie. What a super send off and may we all feel like that at the end of our lives.

  5. This is a beautiful tribute.

  6. Beautiful tribute, Jessie.

  7. Widdershins says:

    A damn fine epitaph ! πŸ˜€

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