Tuesday, January 3
My Grandpa, Ross Eldon Myers
My Grandpa's funeral is today.
He passed away on December 24, 2011.
We were at a friends house enjoying Christmas Eve festivities when we got the news. I was shocked, to say the least. I knew he wasn't doing well- and hadn't been for a while, but still I was shocked. I was convinced that he was invincible.
My Grandpa was a great man. He had his own quirks and weaknesses but everyone does, and who wants to dwell on moments like that? I believe that only the good need be remembered. And he had a lot of good- that could and does and should inspire a lot of people.
Today is his funeral- and I am missing it. I am here in snowing Ohio, but my heart is in Calgary.
Cheesy, I know, but true.
Since I am not there and won't be able to participate or hear any of the services I thought I would put together a Eulogy of my own. From the eyes of a granddaughter.
If I could only use one word to describe my grandfather it would be service. He served his whole life. He served in the Korean War. He served as a prominent member of the legion. He served in AA. My grandpa didn't have an easy early life by any stretch of the imagination. He left home at the age of 16 because things weren't great at home. I think of that and my heart breaks. No one should feel the need to leave home at 16- no one. But he did. He served in the Korean war and worked as an 'EMT'- from the stories he told I imagine it was like the ambulance on the front lines. He saw a lot of sad things and had some incredible stories. He used to come to the YMCA and talk to the children that I work with about his experiences in the war. Incredible. It was incredible for me to hear the stories that he told. He was a hero- any person who can fight in a war is a hero. But this was MY grandpa- and he was a HERO to me. Those were special times for me, times I will forever cherish. My grandpa was an incredible wood worker, he had a great talent and he liked to share that talent with others. Once in school I had taken an industrial arts class and I had decided to make a hope chest. There wasn't enough time left in the semester for me to finish so we went to my grandpa's and dad, grandpa and I put our heads and hands together and we finished it together. It wasn't a monumental moment but it is a cherished memory. I remember one Christmas we were setting up the tree at my grandparent's house (we spent every Christmas there) and we didn't have an angel to put on the top or it was broken, or grandpa just wanted a new one (I can't remember which, like I said this is from the memory of a granddaughter- so that means some of these memories will be how I remember them, not how they really were....) so we headed out to the store to find a new angel to put on top. Grandpa made sure that it was an angel and that it was a pretty one. I think it was that moment that I knew that grandpa believed in heaven, that was a good thing for me to learn about him. I remember the Christmas he made us all doll houses. All of his granddaughters- and he had a lot of grand daughters. At the time I was enchanted with the magic of it- waking up Christmas morning to see the lights on and the room filled with presents and doll houses with our names on them placeds around the room. At that time I didn't think much about the work and the love that went into those houses, but I guess that is why we have memories and why we reminisce, we learn from them. Golf carts and summer days remind me of grandpa. He used to own a golf cart and would take all of the cousins out for a ride together around the block. That was awesome, my absolute favorite memory of him. I remember stampede breakfasts at my grandparent's house, the neighborhood, friends, and family would come over and we would celebrate. I remember the smell of his car, minty. He always had candy for us. I remember his office that he had in the basement. That was the best place to play- I love the typewriter that he had, it was really fun to play with. My grandpa loved dogs, I will always remember Zipper and Pal... I remember him in his uniform, he looked good in it. He always stressed the importance of Remembrance Day and I never really got it. I do now. I remember going to his Legion (no. 275) and sitting in the front row and listening to the ceremony on November 11. He was always glad to see us there and I always felt proud to be his granddaughter. We would visit the family homestead in the summer, it was special going there with grandpa and having him tell us stories of his childhood however good or bad they were. Family was important to him, memories were important to him, and visiting was important to him and he made sure everyone knew it. My grandpa celebrated 51 years of sobriety while he was still alive and was very active with Alcoholics Anonymous. My grandpa overcame many shortcomings in his life- and he conquered them. My grandparents were always housing someone who needed there help. Now when I say always, I mean it. Ever since I can remember there has been some stranger living in there house that just needed some help, just a few months to get on their feet. I like knowing that my grandpa (and grandma- because lets face it grandpa couldn't have done it without grandma's permission and help) is that kind of person. The kind that doesn't focus on your shortcomings, or your moments of ridiculousness but is willing to give help when he sees the need. He taught, and is still teaching me as I reminisce and grow older, much about service and love. My grandparents supported us any way they could- and were at all the important events that they could be at. I know my grandpa loved me- as he would say 'Love you just the way you are.' My favorite photo of my grandpa is the one hanging in his bedroom (beside my favorite picture of my grandma) it is of him as a young handsome man. I really want a copy of that photo.
I am grateful for my knowledge of the Plan of Salvation. I am grateful to KNOW that I will see my grandpa again one day. I am grateful for him and for his example. I just wish I could be in Calgary right now, doing the fun part of getting together with family to remember. Isn't that the great thing about funerals? Getting the family together and enjoying each other's company?