The Scottish Saltire

The Scottish Saltire

Monday, January 5, 2009

Grandpa Bill

...that's what my kids called him.

Bill Moran married their grandmother in 1981. Michael was 15 months old and the girls were 3 months old. Bill may not have been their natural grandfather but he was Grandpa, just the same. Not just to my kids but to all of Ruth's 16 grandchildren, most of whom weren't even born before Bill and Ruth got married. In fact, I had only met my mother-in-law once before Bill came into her life. The second time I met her was when she came to California to help for a week or so when we brought the twins home from the hospital. She and Bill had only been dating for a few months and she glowed like a schoolgirl when she talked about him. She had found love. Three months later, on Valentine's Day, they flew to Las Vegas to get married.

They would have celebrated their 28th wedding anniversary next month but Bill died on Saturday. I can't imagine what Ruth will do now. We certainly can't say that the house and property will be too much for her to keep up by herself. Maybe for any other 77 year old woman but this is Ruth we're talking about (She's like the Bionic Woman except that all her parts are still natural). I can't imagine her living anywhere but there but I can't imagine her there without Bill. They crafted their little piece of paradise together. As I write this, though, it's clear to me what Ruth will do. She'll stay where she is. That's her home. It holds her memories of Bill and their life together.

What do you say when someone you love dies of a heart attack? He went quickly? He was at home? He lived a full life? It's all crap. He shouldn't have died. We loved him. The best thing I can say is that I'm glad we were there for Christmas. And that, as we all were leaving and Bill and I were saying goodbye, I turned back for a second hug and a second "I love you".

1 comment:

Michael said...

These few days since I heard the news from my Dad, I've been a mess. I've never had someone close to me pass away before, and this is very, very difficult. I've lost someone very dear to my heart, someone I always looked to and said, "That's my Grandpa."

When my family visited Gypsum every couple of years, Grandpa Bill was always there to talk finance to, to debate with, or to chat about the economy or sports, even when I didn't know much about them. I could always ask him about local news and he was always knowlegeable and honest about it.

He was ever curious about my life when we'd talk, asking questions which most people never thought to ask, and I could always depend on my Grandpa for very thougthful wisdom whenever we chatted. He was a patriotic man and proud of his accomplishments in life, but he was never vain about them.

When I asked him this Christmas about how he and Grandma Ruth met, he smiled and chuckled as he told me the story. I could tell that he loved and admired her deeply.

The last time I talked to Grandpa Bill was on the phone as I was about to leave Denver to Seattle. I said that my flight was on time, and we talked of the football game which was coming on that evening. He was excited that I'd get home in time to watch. So was I. My final words to him were, "I'll talk to you soon, Grandpa. Love you!"

Yes, we had the good fortune of spending Christmas with our grandparents this December, and I spent quality time with my Grandpa while we were there. I'm thankful for that. But that he left us so soon afterward, it's just... heartbreaking.

I know that we will go on. But the loss of my grandpa is still a deep loss for me.

He was our grandfather. He was Grandpa Bill.

We will miss you, Grandpa.