Mostly I'll remember Grandpa's laugh. He had a sense of humor, but the ho-ho-ho often made an appearance when we were playing cards and he would inevitably catch some points the rest of us forgot to count up.
I'll remember driving through the tiny town of Harlan, and him telling us that the Harlan Globetrotters originated there. I may even have believed him when I was very young.
I'll remember searching the farmland between my grandparents' house and the one I grew up in, collecting the golf balls he would swing into the field.
I'll remember the Saturday nights we spent at their house, learning all the new card games that they brought back from their winters in Arizona. Nobody could play like Grandpa. He taught me cribbage, and I'm not sure I've met anyone outside of our family who knows the rules.
I'll remember riding in Grandma and Grandpa's car, and him
letting me use the CB radio to speak to my own Dad elsewhere on the
I'll remember a family trip -- to Michigan, I think -- when a seagull swooped down and grabbed the bologna sandwich right out of his hand. I would bet anything that the laugh made an appearance then.
I'll remember how I never heard him lose patience or say a harsh word, even though I probably deserved it.
We spent the day at the hospice center in my hometown of Defiance about a week before he died last Tuesday. We stayed six or seven hours in the room with him, and his eyes flickered open once or twice. But the whole time we were there, I didn't know what to say to him. I shared a few parting words at the end, but left wishing I would have said more. Like this.