Grandpa Richard

My Grandpa Richard, married to Grandma Patricia

A few years ago, my Grandpa Richard got pancreatic cancer, and we knew he would be leaving us soon, so we loaded our kids in the van and made the journey to his home twelve hours away.  It was wonderful being with my grandpa that one last time, and I remember how I felt sitting with him and realizing that soon he would be in the presence of the Savior.  I wanted to say, "When you get there, tell the Savior how much I love Him," but I thought it might sound flippant, and that's not the way I felt.  I felt a reverence and awe and joy knowing that I stood in the presence of one worthy to soon behold His glory.

My grandpa was gentle and kind, with an endearing hesitancy in his voice that I sometimes hear in my son Matthew's words.  His hands were big, and he loved to hold his grand kids on his knee and burp them for their mommies and play with them.  He had a sweet laugh and a big smile that my brother Rick inherited.  As a little girl, I always felt a bit sorry for Grandpa, a quiet man swallowed up in a house full of loud crazy teenagers, but he loved them and all of us, I could feel it.

One day when I was a young mother with small children and an overwhelmingly messy house, my Grandpa Richard and Grandma Patricia dropped in from out of town, unannounced.  I welcomed them warmly and invited them in for a visit, trying to ignore my chagrin at the mess around us.  Some time during the conversation, Grandpa wandered into the kitchen, and I inwardly winced at the thought of the huge mountain of dishes he would see in the sink.  Soon I heard the sound of water and crockery, and by the time their short visit was finished, Grandpa had hand washed the entire mountain of dirty dishes.  I thank him profusely, and he simply said, "Sometimes we need a helping hand."  Grandpa showed me his love that day by finding what I needed most and giving it to me.

For Christmas this year, my mom sent me a copy of Grandpa's journals--a real treasure.  I loved reading about his life in his own words, especially his testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  I always knew that he knew the gospel was true, but it was good to read his own words declaring it.  My grandpa was a good husband, father, and grandfather, and it is partly because of him that I am who I am.

Now that I think about it, I'm really not sure if we get to be in the presence of the Savior in the spirit world, or if we won't have that privilege till the judgement day.  Be that as it may, I know that when he died, there were those on the other side who loved my grandpa and waited for him, saying, "We will meet him here, and we will receive him into our bosom, and we will fall upon his neck, and he shall fall upon our necks, and we shall kiss each other."* I look forward to such a meeting with my grandpa some day.

*See Moses 7:63