Sunday, July 6, 2014

Remembering Grandpa

On the morning of February 8th, 2014, I received the news that my Grandfather had passed in his sleep (sometime after 4am). My grandfather had been suffering for weeks. He had been diagnosed with CHF (congestive heart failure) and was also having internal bleeding. Due to his age - 91 years - the doctors did not want to take him into surgery. They could not locate where the bleeding was coming from, but that he'd need a transfusion. One morning, a week or two after that, the nursing home had called us to say they thought my Grandpa had a stroke.We took him back to the doctors and again, there was still not much they could do. The next time I saw him, he did seem to slur his words more and his lip seemed a little droopy, but he still smiled for us. I can't imagine the pain he was going through.

My grandpa was a man's man. A very tough guy - he was in World War II and served again during Vietnam. He had many brothers who I am sure kicked him around during their younger days. He also had two sisters.

Even though he was not my biological grandfather, he was the only one I knew. My real Grandpa was never present (he passed away in 2003).

A few weeks ago, we ran across a box of his that was in his closet. He had many photos in it and practical joke items, post cards from Malaysia from when he went there, and various other items. My grandpa was incredibly smart. He was very mechanical and could fix just about anything. He loved to tinker in the garage and put things together.

Here are a few photos from this box and a few photos for us to remember him by -

My Grandma and Grandpa met years before they married. My Grandma was 16 and he was 23. He took her to a dance, but realized she was too young and took her home. She later married my biological grandfather Frank Sr., at 18 and had four children until they divorced sometime in 1958. On May 31st, 1959, Grandma and Grandpa were united in marriage, one that lasted nearly 55 years. This time she was 30 and he was 37. Here is a picture of the couple on their wedding day. They were married in her sister's home. Ironically, her sister was married to my Grandpa's older brother.

This is a family trip to Reno and the Sierra's, around 1959-1960. Grandpa had a T-Bird.

Some years later, My Grandma and Grandpa together in 1971. Grandpa was about to leave to Vietnam and the that general area.

This photo was taken sometime in 1975, shortly before they moved to their new home in Brentwood on the Murphy Ranch.

On their wedding day, opening cards and gifts, May 31st 1959.

Grandma posing for Grandpa, 1971.

Grandpa and Grandma together, 1971

Grandpa took some fascinating photos of Singapore, Pacific Ocean, San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge from the ocean liner he was on:

Grandpa was a pracitcal joker. He was a true Virgo! Here, he puts on a wig and fur to get the girls laughing!

Grandpa was a also a doting Grandpa and very present in his grandchildren's lives. Here he is giving my cousin a piggy back ride, circa 1975, at the ranch.

Grandpa walked all three of his adopted daughter's down the aisle. This one was of the middle daughter at her wedding in 1969.

When my Uncle went to Vietnam, he had a leave in North Carolina, as so did my Grandpa. My Grandma flew out to North Carolina to see them both. This was around 1971-72.

These photos really only show a fraction of who my Grandpa was... but this is how I want to remember him, in his youth, living a very full life of adventure, and most of all, happy. I miss you Grandpa, so very much!