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"Catch a lot of fish for me..."

BuffcoBuffco Senior MemberPosts: 10,585 Senior Member
My grandfather, patriarch of our family, raised in a loving family but dirt poor, self made wealthy businessman.... He's facing his last.

He's always been strong. Went into the army in early 50s for the GI bill but it was a peacetime enlistment. After WWII and before Korea. Went to college like many of his peers and due to his intelligence and the sense of work ethic that his generation had (for the most part), he was successful. He quickly rose in rank in the business world, married young, and fathered five children, my father being the eldest and only son. As I am the only son of MY father, I am the only one to carry my grandfather's name. I thank God that I had two sons, so if He wills it, my grandfather's name will carry on. His legacy certainly will, regardless of future great-great grandchildren.

Strong. The man could flat outrun me when I was 14. He would have been mid 60s at that time. He's always been thin and tough as a lightered knot. But he had a nose for business that was unparalleled. He founded a company in 84 after retiring from management at a large corporation and that company is still going strong today. I'm employed there, and have been since I was 12, working for two dollars an hour, cleaning and mowing, fixing equipment... The company continues to put food on the table for my family.

I learned so much from him. He was tough and not overly given to affection, since that wasn't taught when he was a child. But it was obvious that his wife was the jewel of his life, and his children were very dear to him. His grandchildren (I am the first of 11) and great grandchildren (9 in total) are especially loved by him.

He was ordained as a minister about 10 years ago and has always had the deepest reverence for the Divine, and it showed in his impassioned sermons. He loved to fish and was a real threat to any redbreast in the Satilla River that got within casting distance.

He has terminal cancer, and he went from just being a little tired a couple weeks ago, to having a distended midsection in a week due to fluid and organ swelling. At this point, the fluid itself is malignant and he's just receiving pain management now. He will likely be unresponsive due to medication in just a few days. It's just a matter of time. I went to the hospital last night, and got a few minutes to talk to him privately. Told him that he and my father were the two most important men in my life and that all my life, in all my struggles to find my place and to measure up to these two great men, all I desired was to make them proud. I didn't know what I wanted to do for a career (still don't somewhat), all I knew was that I wanted a family, and to make them proud. He slapped my arm with tears in his eyes and said, "You have. You're a good man, you have a good personality, and people instantly like you. Just keep the faith, have tenacity and determination, and you are going to be fine."

I told him I loved him and he told me with a smile, "Catch a lot of fish for me."

Never lost anyone close to me. I count that as a blessing, as I had both sets of grandparents until I was 30, only losing my mother's mom and dad about 6 years ago. I wasn't as close to them as far as interaction although I loved them as well. But this man is my rock, my means of measure for all actions and all other men. The grace that he's exhibited in accepting his fate is so humbling, and I hope to be half as good as he when I reach my final days.

I don't usually post these kinds of threads, but you guys are a real part of my life, and I felt like sharing. Thanks for reading, and every redbreast I catch until the day I die, I will remember this great, wonderful man.


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