Today is an emotional day for our family. It stings. It's raw. It's full of tears but also full of memories. We are saying goodbye to my Grandpa today. For me, what hurts the most is the distance away from home. More than anything I want to hug my mom and tell her we love her and that it's okay to cry. I wish I could be there when everyone shares their stories of the kind, gentle man that my Grandpa Spiegel was.
11 years ago he had a stroke that left him partially paralyzed and unable to speak. Sharp as can be, he managed to overcome physical disabilities and still sneak outside to enjoy the beauty of where he lived. My Grandpa loved the outdoors. The trees. The breeze. His garden.
Oh that garden. My favorite memories of my Grandpa are with him, outside, on a sunny summer day in Northern Wisconsin running down the rows of corn and picking raspberries. I can still smell it. I can taste the tart, but sweet raspberries on my tongue. That's how I remember my Grandpa.
I bought raspberries yesterday. I saw a double carton and couldn't resist. As I gave them to my girls I told them the story of their Great Grandpa and how he loved to grow them. I don't know if they understood what I was saying, but I know that my Grandpa was looking down from heaven smiling. He loved that garden.
I've never been gifted with growing things, but this summer I want to try to grow a little garden. Traditions are comforting and the best way to honor my Grandpa's memory is to get my hands dirty and teach my girls a skill that he was so good at- nurturing things.
We love you Grandpa. We miss you. Thank you for teaching me how to be kind, to be gentle and to be patient while we waited for the raspberries to grow. Zoom zoom.