Goodbye Grandpa Turner

Well, Grandpa, you did it.

You gracefully slipped out of this life today and reunited with the love of your life, Grandma Turner.

Every time I think of you seeing her again, I smile.

You told us you’d only give us until you were 90, and then you were going to get on your way.

You made it to 89 and a half.IMG_4786

Grandpa, it was a privilege to be your daughter-in-law and to become part of the Turner family.

I remember the first time I met your family, and I thought, “I want a family just like this.”

I wanted my house to feel as warm, happy, and full of love as your home.

Your life was marked with love, cheerfulness, optimism, service, goodness, friendliness, and faith.

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Doug mentioned yesterday that you didn’t just believe your religion and align your lives with it, you became the living embodiment of  it.

You were your religion.

It was you.

The night before I married Doug, Grandma came into my room and said, “I think you’re going to be very happily married. I’ve been blessed with a wonderful marriage because Claude is such a good, happy, man and the best possible husband. Doug is just like Claude so I think you’ll have a very happy marriage too.”

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She was right.

Thank you for teaching Doug how to be a good husband, an honorable man, and an ideal father.

Thank you for making us laugh, teaching us how to have fun and how to view life with a smile.

I’ll never forget that every time I said, “Grandpa, how are you doing?” You enthusiastically replied, “I’m doing wonderfully well. How are you?”

Wonderfully well for all those years you lived without your sweet wife.

Wonderfully well when your body was taken over by cancer and you were given only a short time to live.

Wonderfully well.

That’s how you lived your life, and how I hope I can live mine.

When I saw you for the last time, a few weeks ago, I said, “I’ll miss you, Grandpa.”

“Not too much though, right?” You asked.

The hospice nurse told us you were in transition – partly here with us and partly on your journey out of this life. She said it was important for us to tell you we were okay with you dying and to assure you we would be okay without you.

With that in mind, I said, I won’t miss you too much because I know you’ll be with Grandma and when I think of that, I am happy.”

We will miss you, Grandpa.

We will miss your sense of humor, your unbending faith, and silly, happy, giddiness every time you gathered your family together, but we will be okay because we will never forget everything you’ve taught us by the way you lived your life.

We will remember that the priorities in life are faith, family and fun.

You made life fun, whether it was by sending us homemade boxes of Christmas fudge and peanut clusters or building a fire in the backyard for a family party or dancing into the night on the deck of a cruise ship or on the dance floor at Annie’s wedding, you knew how to enjoy life and make everyone around you happy.

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Most of all, we will remember your selflessness. Even on your dying bed, you pulled me close and said, “Laurie, how’s your health? Are you sure you’re okay?”

“Grandpa, I’m fine. I’m healthy!” I said.

When Doug asked you if you were happy with the plans the family had made for your funeral, you said, “It’s not about me! It’s about you! Will you be happy with what you’ve planned? Will it comfort you?”

Oh, Grandpa, I love you. I will miss you.

But, don’t worry. I will miss you just the right amount and when I think of you, I will always smile, and gratitude will fill up my sad places because no girl has ever been so lucky as to have a father-in-law like you.claude

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