Grandpa Lee

I suppose deep down we all knew it would happen eventually.  On Wednesday morning, my sweet grandfather took his final breath - despite my swearing that he would, one day, most definitely outlive us all.

Thanksgiving 2009

Although, in some ways I think he is outliving us - through his legacy of love... and tremendous craftsmanship (seriously, was there anything that man could not build??).
On his 92nd birthday, February 2010.
Life is so strange.  It seems no matter how long you have to prepare for something, the actual event can still be a bit of a shock.  I mean, really: he was 94 years old.  He had been on hospice for quite some time.  His slip from toolbelt-wearing, winking, full-of-life-jokester to...Wednesday morning...was gradual, to say the least.  Honestly, he held on a heck of a lot longer than anyone might have expected, given his condition. 

But that was just Grandpa's style.  He didn't bend to what the world (or in this case: medical history) expected him to do.  He was a doer, a mover, a builder.  Filled with vitality, curiosity, and humor.  And he was one of the kindest men I've ever had the pleasure of knowing in my entire life.

Thanksgiving 2011, with his sweetheart
Christmas 2011, I had the pleasure of driving these two lovebirds down to my aunt's house for our annual Christmas celebration.  They snuggled and held hands in my backseat the whole way.
And so, even with all the preparation in the world, the news of his death still caused a jolt in my heart.  The world lost a very great man this week.

When I think of Grandpa Lee, I think of:
  • blue shag carpet on the ceiling of our downstairs converted play closet in the house of my childhood
  • square dancing and mall walking
  • the epitome of daddy/daughter relationships
my momma and my grandpa, August 2012
  • extra ketchup for french fry dipping on my birthday outings - he was a man after my own heart
  • button up shirts and a plethora of amazing leather belts with giant belt buckles
  • childlike humor
  • photoshopping the entire family to an island since it was so rare and difficult for us all to get together at the same time
  • three legged, feisty poodles named Casey
  • and of course, this:
My 13th birthday, where my grandparents surprised me with their one-strap overalls, backwards hats, and a RAP they wrote and performed on their driveway.  I still have the original lyrics pinned to my bulletin board.
Grandpa Lee, thank you for living such a legacy of dedication to your children.  Your unwavering love and loyalty for your family was admirable at least, life-giving at best.

Rest in Jesus, sweet Grandpa.  


Vanessa's Dad said…
Wonderful blog. Gene is smiling. So am I.

Natalie...this is beautiful.
Would you like to read this at the service or have Sue??
thank you!
Carol J. Brown said…
A beautiful tribute, Natalie. Your grandpa was truly a good man.

Love, Aunt Carol