On October 18th, my Grandpa Barker passed away. Although he was in his nineties, and his heart had started to fail him, it was still so sad to wake up to that news. I know he’s reunited with my Grandma, as well as many other loved ones, but it’s still sad for all of us that no longer have him in our lives. He truly was a wonderful man who left behind an incredible legacy.
This picture was taken the last time I got to see him. We went to the mountains with him and his wife in September – how I wish I had known that would be our last time on this earth to see him! As soon as my dad told us that my Grandpa passed away, Forrest and I hopped in the car and drove right out. I knew that I wanted to be there right away. We were able to get there in time to attend a family meeting to discuss his funeral and everyone also shared memories of him. My heart was filled with gratitude as I heard different stories about his life. I had grown up living only about 15 minutes away from him, so I have many fond memories of him. However, hearing everyone else’s memories about him, and then again the funeral today, made me feel even more grateful to be a descendant of someone like him.
Something from his funeral that I really loved was the military funeral honor. My grandpa served in the navy during World War II. It wasn’t something that I heard many stories about, but I’m grateful for his willingness to serve our country.
I had never been to a funeral before where they had military honors performed, and it was really a neat experience. I felt so much pride for our country, and even more respect for those people who have fought (and continue to fight) to keep us a free nation. With Veteran’s Day coming up tomorrow, and the recent passing of my Grandpa, I feel even more connection to helping support the Veterans in our country.
This post is compensated by Mom Central and Katy’s Goodness. All opinions are 100% my own.
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I’ve partnered with Katy’s Goodness, a company that is very passionate about supporting our nation’s current armed forces, as well as veterans, to promote a great campaign called “Thank a Veteran.” Basically, it’s an easy way to do a random act of kindness for Veterans. All you do is, anytime between now and Veteran’s Day 2015, go here to place an order. Each order is $30, including shipping and handling. Each package has six bags of Katy’s Goodness My OH Mega® Cookies, a thank you card, and information about organizations that support the veteran community. Packages are automatically shipped to a military veteran right after it’s purchased. I got to sample some of the cookies, and they are sure good – all made with real ingredients. You can connect with Katy’s Goodness on Facebook and Twitter.
I wrote this post about values I learned from my Grandpa right after he passed away, but after I was contacted by Katy’s Goodness via Influence Central, I decided to wait until now to post it. As I’ve already said, my Grandfather was a wonderful man, and he had many admirable qualities and traits. Here are a few that I think he’ll most be remembered by. It’s my hope that by recording these memories, even though he’s no longer with us, I’ll be able to share with Jack the legacy he left behind.
My Grandpa has an amazing ability to make everyone feel loved. Whether you were related to him by blood, or by marriage, it didn’t matter. He loved all of his friends and family, and we all knew it. I think that he is the perfect example of “actions speak louder than words.” Although he didn’t really verbally say “I love you,” you always just knew. He was always at every family event, countless musicals, birthdays, and holidays. Whenever I spoke with him, I always felt like he was truly invested in me and what was going on in my life. I think something he was recognized for was his love for his family, and that was apparent until the day he passed away.
My mom said something about my Grandpa that really stood out to me — how respectful he was of others opinions. Even if he didn’t necessarily agree, he didn’t make someone feel bad about their opinion, or get into arguments about it (particularly when it came to politics.) I think in this world — where you can anonymously state your opinion, people have stopped understanding what it means to respect others opinions, feelings, and property. I know that this is something I am always working on — knowing how to respectfully disagree with something!
Importance of Family
I believe that families are the framework of society, and that strong families are needed now more than ever. Family meant everything to my grandpa. For almost 60 years, he made it a tradition to make homemade ice cream on the first Sunday of every month. When his children were still at home, it was a small gathering, but as they grew up and had their own families, it still continued. That first Sunday of every month is always one I looked forward to growing up, and even when we go back to visit Colorado, as it still continues. While his ice cream is the best ever, I don’t think the reason he did this was because he loved ice cream. I think it was because he wanted his family to be together. I’m grateful that he taught his children (so, my dad) to value family togetherness, as that is something I came to value growing up as well. At the end of the day, I believe family is what matters – because, well, families are forever!
I think that, too often, boys are told they shouldn’t be sensitive and express their emotions. I think the opposite is true. I grew up in a family where my dad was very sensitive, as well as both of my brothers. Whenever I talked to my Grandpa Barker, I can’t think of a single time where he didn’t start to tear up as we talked. I don’t think he was afraid to show his emotions. All the men in my family (my dad and my brothers) are this same way, and I find it very endearing. I hope that my Jack will know that it’s okay to be sensitive! There’s a time and a place to be “tough”, but there’s a lot to be said about a person who is sensitive to others needs.
These are just a few of the qualities that my grandfather had, but I think they are some of the most important.
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