In honour of him, I want to write here some of the things I'm going to miss most about him.
- He was closer than even an uncle. When my grandmother (his first cousin) died, his family treated us as surrogate grandparents. And likewise, when my mother died, they did the same for Leilani - treating her as a grandchild as well. For his constancy and care, he will be greatly missed.
- I am going to be the only one who visits that house that is now cold. He and I were always the ones dressed in flannel in 70 - 80 degree weather, while being perfectly comfortable. I'm including pictures from his 80th birthday celebration to make my point. (photos courtesy of Betsy Knocklein)
- I'm going to miss his bond with Leilani. It always amazed me that she wasn't afraid of him (like we were as kids - because he was very tall and made quite an impression upon us as children). She had a way with him, and he with her, that was unlike anything I had witnessed.
- I'm going to miss watching him toss mail at his wife, and then have her bicker about how he threw it at her. Secretly, I think she might miss it too.
- I'm going to miss the way his smile lit up his whole face when he was genuinely happy.
- I'm going to miss his raised eyebrow at my earrings, clothes, or any other accessory that he thought was too flamboyant when I would wear it. Honestly, I might just wear those dangle earrings that he thought were too over the top to go shopping in to his funeral. Just to send him off in style, albeit over the top style - in his opinion.
- I am going to miss his distaste for the spaghetti part of "Tuesday night Spaghetti Nights." I am also going to miss watching him pile redi-whip onto his dessert. I know, I know...but it's the little things like that I'm going to miss.
His smile was like a light bulb
and it lit up everyone's world.
- I'm going to miss worrying about him.
- I will miss listening to dinnertime conversations and banter. It was the only normalcy that Leilani had when it came to that. I may not have always actively participated in them, but I was listening and enjoying them.
- I will always remember holding his hand the last time I saw him, and whispering quietly to him that it was okay to be scared. And then him trying to take off one of my rings (he hated the bling till the end, it seems).