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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Four Generations of Baseball Players

It was a baseball game of four generations, our ages spanned 86 years, and our abilities were just as varied.

baseball game

The youngest spent a lot of time exuberantly running the wrong direction and shrieking excitedly.

The oldest spent a lot of time laughing from the pitchers mound.

We lost outfielders, changed positions at random, stole bases and laughed until it was time to come in for dinner.Clara batting

It was the most fun I’ve had playing baseball since Great Gramps last big birthday party!

Happy Birthday Great Gramps!

 

I’m linking up with Northwest Frame of Mind tonight and her 1 Day 1 World project. The game took place between 5:00-6:00 this week, click over to see what else was happening around the world in the five o’clock hour!

 

 

The Birthday Party

Sunday was Great Gramps’s Birthday party.

We pulled out the red fat bat and recruited the neighbor kids to join us in a baseball game…

…and made the Birthday Boy all time pitcher.

Gramps did take a turn batting but we called in a pinch runner for him after witnessing the tackle/slide/take down between John and my Dad at second.

A few hours later when we were all baseballed out it was dinner and cake…

…before we headed down to the lake for a little fishing.

The kids pulled fish in one after another…

… until the sun set and the party was over.

Happy Birthday Gramps hope you had as much fun at your party as we did!