September 7th, 2016 ~ Vol. 85 No. 35
Goodbye Grandpa
Rick's Corner
Three years ago I had the privileged of meeting Ken, better known to me as grandpa.

Though not my blood relation, over the years he became my friend.

On Monday that wonderful man left this world and I am a better person for having known him.

Ken was the kindest person. He always had a smile on his face and a beautiful greeting for every person he met. He would often come into the Pass Herald office just to say “Hi” to me. He’d come in, smelling of his wonderful cologne, with his button up shirt and his suspenders and he’d give me a great big hug. Then he’d look in my eyes and ask me how I was.

He wasn’t just making small talk; he actually wanted to know how I was doing. If I said, “I’m good grandpa,” he’d say, “Nope but I’ll let you have that” and then he’d give me the greatest hug in the world. Then he would say, “Go eat a steak you’re too skinny.”

Grandpa was a flirt – the old fashioned kind – who could make you feel beautiful in a no-makeup and sweatpants hold the door for a lady kind of way.

Like many people of his generation, he was always on the lookout for a deal. Once, my windshield was broken and he searched for the best price for me. When he found a good one, he offerd to drive my car all the way there to get it fixed. That’s the type of person he was: kind, loyal, helpful and caring.
continued below ...
How many of us can leave this world with that kind of legacy? Not many, I would say.

Grandpa loved his family. It was the kind of love that I envied but had the privilege of being around. Both Ken and his wonderful wife of 51 years are the type of parents, grandparents and great-grandparents that those of us who haven’t had, wish they’d had.

I didn’t know my grandparents and I often dreamed that if I did, they would be as wonderful as Ken and his wife.

Ken’s family is close, the type of close you typically find in a community like Crowsnest Pass. They had weekly family dinners, game nights and talks around the table. He would wink at me every time I had my butt kicked in ‘Crazy Rummy’.

Being a friend of the family, I would often get invited to their gatherings where’d I’d just sit in wonder and awe at their love. Not having my parents anymore, they made me feel like part of a family and for that I will forever be grateful.

Ken broke his hip two months ago and after that his health quickly deteriorated. But up until that time he had 80 plus years of activity and love of life. He truly lived; some of his stories amaze and others still make me giggle.

He loved his daughter and son-in-law. Watching his interactions with them taught me a lot about parenting, about abundant unconditional love and forgiveness.

His grandchildren have been blessed with having their grandfather around for a lot of their adult lives. What a wonderful role model to have had for such a long time. They have a closeness and love I have rarely seen in many families. It truly is beautiful to watch.
continued below ...
Ken was only in his great grandson’s life for a while but I believe in my heart he left an indelible impression. When Ken would come through the door his little guy would run to the couch, pat the seat beside him and say come sit by me papa. Then he would empty out the note pad and pen out of his papa’s shirt pocket and get the jelly beans his Ken always had ready. It was innocent and sweet and showed the special love between a great grandchild and his great grandfather.

Not long ago I went to see Ken. It was early in the morning before I went to work and for the 45 minutes I was there he must have received 20 calls from people all over worried about him and asking about his health. That’s how highly people thought of him.

I remember something my mom once said to me, that if you leave this world with a handful of friends, you are blessed. Well I can tell you grandpa was indeed blessed, as were all of us that knew him.

My thoughts and prayers go out to his family. They have lost their patriarch and one hell of a man.

When my mom died the first people to see me were members of Ken’s family. They helped me grieve. They helped me move forward during those days when it was tough getting out of bed. They accepted me as I am – flaws and all – and loved me despite them.

That’s the type of people they are. For each of us that have had the privileged of knowing Ken, consider yourself blessed. He was a giant amongst men. If my boys turn out half as amazing as he was then I have done my job as a mother.

Rest in peace grandpa and know you left one hell of a legacy for the rest of us to follow.
Click the "Submit" button once
Your post will appear at the top
September 7th ~ Vol. 85 No. 35
All information on this website is Copyright (c) 2016 Pass Herald Ltd. All rights reserved.
12925 20th Ave, Box 960, Blairmore, Alberta, Canada T0K 0E0 | | 403.562.2248 | 403.562.8379 (FAX)