|Golfing with Gpa in Minnesota 10/2014|
I only got to have him as my grandpa for the last 22+ years, but that never changed how much I loved him and enjoyed spending time with him. He made me feel loved from the very first day we met.
He is the reason I ever gave the game of golf a chance. We were in California for our cousin's graduation and family get together and a lot of the family was heading to the course, and I decided to go. I didn't have any of the equipment and I think I only hit the ball about 25 ft per swing, but I fell in love with it right there. My feet were so sore after the round because I rarely got back in the cart with my short shots...LOL. As soon as we got home, we purchased for me, my first set of clubs and shoes. Years later, I play now with a set that Gpa made for me. Since we used the same size clubs, even over long distances, it was convenient for him to create clubs for me that would fit perfectly. I am so grateful to him for all he has done for us.
Due to distance, I wasn't able to spend as much time with him as I would have liked. I was able to see him at least once a year the last few years and on a couple of years I got even more visits in. During one visit last year for a memorial service, a bunch of us were able to go through pictures and albums with him and hear some of the stories/dramas of his young life in Nebraska. This past year we had 3 visits, the last one in October in Minnesota after his big move from Nebraska. The weather was amazing and we managed to get in three days of golfing in the short 5 days that I was there.
He was always so fun to take out to eat, because you could be guaranteed he would play games with the staff, thoroughly confusing them while giving us all a good chuckle. During my most recent visit, he convinced the manager at the pizza joint we were ordering from, that he wanted a part time job as a delivery boy. They even gave him a little tour while the manager threatened the teenagers working for him that Gpa was going to be their new boss...LOL.
He really did try to live life to the fullest, even when he was not feeling so hot. At times, he would get frustrated on the course because he couldn't hit the ball as far as he used to, and I would tell him that if I was still able to play golf at 93, I would be thrilled. He never let his age stop him. He was definitely an inspiration.
I know that he had a long good life and I am glad that he isn't in any pain or dealing with the frustrations of his progressive conditions, but selfishly, I am going to miss him so much. I really hope that I live up to being half the person that he has been to so many.
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