Last Thursday, the day we finally got our power back from the storm, we got the phone call. My grandpa had passed away.
He was one of those grandpa's everyone wished they had. He was always smiling, laughing, and gentle as ever. He was a huge animal lover. He would tell us stories of growing up in Oil City, PA, with his pet chicken, which was later served as dinner.
He grew up poor and without parents in his teen years. At 18, he enlisted in the army and served in Italy till 1945. He came home in January 1946 and married my grandmother, who he had met by writing love letters to during the war. He loved his family, his wife, and his 1988 Chrysler LeBaron.
Summer time was always my favorite time to spend at my grandparents. He would sit on the front porch of their Detroit home and tell us the name of every person that lived in each home on his block. As the people moved out of the neighborhood, my grandparents started to see a change in culture. Where it was once an all Polish neighborhood, turned into many different cultures such as Arabic, Mexican, and African American. Of course, being very old fashion, my grandparents did not take kindly to this. About 4-5 years ago, my grandparents got new neighbors, who were Arabic. My grandpa had fallen in his backyard and could not get up. My grandmother was inside and did not know. The man (who was Arabic) next door saw my grandpa and rushed over, carrying him into my grandparents home. After that, my grandma would buy their children gifts and speak so highly of them. It's funny how perception changed...for the better.
He was not your typical person with dementia. He would repeat things constantly, or tell you stories about three times over in one sitting, but he was always so happy to see you!
I could go on and on with the stories...
After my grandma passed in 2008, we worried he may be lost without her. We moved him into an assisted living, where the staff instantly fell in love with the man we knew. He would trick the cute, young women staff members into helping him with things, such as unplugging his TV and asking them to help him fix it.
Now, he is back with my grandma, where I am sure he is driving her nuts with telling her how cute she is or how much he loves her. That man was not shy when it came to showing his emotions towards us or her. Yes, I am very sad I lost him, but am so lucky I got to spend 31 wonderful years with him.
I have to hear your best grandpa stories now...