Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Grandpa's Funeral

I downloaded my pictures, so I thought I would post some! I really loved my Grandpa's funeral, if that's a good way to put it! I loved honoring him, and I loved how he was honored. The service was very nice, full of memories and love, and then the procession to the cemetery was great! First of all, anyone who knew my grandpa knew that he loved cars. I guess he had once owned an old '30s truck (I don't remember the exact year), and my uncle happens to know someone who owns one, so my grandpa's casket was driven from the stake center on about 8600 S and 1000 E all the way to the Salt Lake cemetery, a drive of about 45 minutes. It would have actually taken longer, but another cool part was that the whole procession was escorted by a police honor guard, which including going through all the red lights and all! It was awesome! I'm sure my Grandpa was getting a huge kick out of the whole parade! The last really cool part was that at the cemetery, because he had served in the army, he was honored by a retired military guard which included a little ceremony with taps being played, and a rifle honor (I can't remember exactly what it's called!) where they shot their guns like 3 or 4 times. It was very moving, although we got a chuckle out of it as well! When they were shooting the guns, they were noisy and all the kids were surprised by it. Isaac looked up at me and asked, "Mom, are they shooting the bad guys?!" I'm sure Grandpa laughed at that one too! All in all, I was so very happy that my Grandpa was honored in the way he was, and like my cousin said, as people watched our procession going down the street and wondered who that person must have been, I am proud to say it was my Grandpa!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Grandpa-Richard Arnold Willits

This is a long overdue post, but I haven't been able to bring myself to write it until now. My grandpa, Richard Arnold Willits, passed away on March 10th. He is my mother's father, and pretty much the only grandpa I have known. He had diabetes, and has had health problems for a long time now. I forgot my camera, so I will have to post pictures next time. My grandpa and I have always had a close relationship, and I'm really going to miss him. My grandpa loved to tell stories, especially stories from his life, and I LOVED to hear them! My grandpa used to eat the grisle (I don't really know what it was, but it was crunchy!) from chicken bones, and I used to think he was actually eating the bones, especially since he would tease me and say he was! He loved the outdoors, and before he married my grandma, he worked as a forest ranger. He also loved to travel, and I don't even know how many countries he visited! He served as an army policeman during the Korean war, and I remember thinking he must have been really tough because he had a tattoo of a dagger on his forearm! But, really he was one of the nicest, politest, most classy men I have ever met! He and my grandma used to go dancing at a dance club with fancy clothes and everything! I used to picture his younger life full of all the romantic stuff of the old movies! But, he had his hard days too, and life was not always easy or even fair to him. But, I never heard him complain. He was one of the happiest people I knew, and loved a good laugh! I'm really going to miss listening to him talk and laugh ponder life! Because I had always had a good relationship with my grandpa, I was very happy when my kids also enjoyed being with him. They didn't get to see him as much as their grandparents, but whenever we did get the chance to visit, they were as comfortable with him as with me! Caydin also had a close relationship with my grandpa. Just a month before Caydin passed away, we had a big family reunion with my grandpa's family, including his sister and brother and all of their families. My grandpa's sister and brother had a little speech thing for my grandpa (he was the oldest and patriarch of the family), and during the middle of it, Caydin wondered up to him, and my grandpa welcomed him with open arms, and Caydin sat up there with him for almost 10 minutes for the rest of the speech, which was amazing because he never sat still for that long! I loved it when it happened, but it became more special after Caydin died a month later. Now they are together again, and I'm sure they are enjoying exchanging stories and laughing! As much as I am going to miss my grandpa, I sure wish I could have seen the reception on the other side when he got there because I'm sure it was wonderful! Besides Caydin, both his parents are there, other family, and also his younger brother, Charles, who was hit by a car and killed when he was 8 and my grandpa was 12. That's been a reunion a long time in the waiting! Thanks Grandpa for being the wonderful example you were, and for always making me feel special, accepted, and like the person I want to be!!