His passing has evoked many emotions in me over the past week, but the two things I have felt most have been loss, and gratefulness. Loss, is obvious. Grandpa Nelson was my last surviving grandparent and now there is a hole that cannot be filled. A void. And this void is ALWAYS felt during the holidays, but the wound was reopened this year and feels fresh again. I lost 3 grandparents in a 6 month span of time at the end of 2000, beginning of 2001. While I miss their presence always, the holiday season holds more memories of them than any other time of year and this year I am revisiting the legacy that they all left, memories made with each of them, and missing them even more.
But the beauty in it all is that I DO have thoes memories, that legacy, their love. I am so grateful for my Grandpa and for all of my grandparents. To say I have been blessed by them would be a huge understatement. My Grandpa Nelson was a wonderful man. A stubborn Norwegian, a thoughtful neighbor, a hard worker, an involved father, a loving grandpa. I have so many wonderful memories of him, even as a young child. Grandpa trying to dodge kisses from us until we pulled his ears to hold him still, bouncing us on his lap and unexpectedly dropping us through his legs, games of bocci ball, cribbage and flinch. I loved the way his face lit up around babies and toddlers, his eyes would twinkle whenever the littles were present. He was a great man and leaves a great legacy behind and large shoes to fill. His example of what it means to be a man and a Christian, a neighbor and a worker, a father and a friend, all call us to a higher standard. I love you Grandpa and I will miss you until we meet again.