Thursday, January 22, 2009
Grandpa and I at our family reunion in Greer, summer 2004
My sweet and wonderful Grandpa Riding passed away today. He was 81 years old, and he and my Grandma had been married for 57 years. He was such a great example of holding fast to the Gospel. A lot of things happened when he was younger - in which he could have easily lost his testimony, but instead he and Grandma have clung to the Gospel. They now have 8 kids, 40+ grandchildren, and a few great-grandchildren to share in their joy.
Grandpa's health hasn't been the best the last few years, but it really took a dive when he fell soon after Abby was born.... I was hoping he would hold on until Abigail got to meet him, but he was already called home. I told Abby to go tell him "Hello" if she still has any connection to the other world.
It was very sweet to be there for some of this and also hear of his passing. Grandma thanked him. She also told him that he got to come home - even if for just a little bit - like he wanted (wasn't liking the care center for his rehab) before "going home".
It is times like these that make me ever more appreciative of the Gospel, The Plan of Salvation, and Forever Families. In some ways we cry happy tears for him - he gets to see his parents, who had both passed away by the time he was a teenager. He is also free from the pain he has been in. His passing was one of those things you knew was coming, but you still are not ready for.... Watching him and Abby has also really made me stop and think about the full circle of life. Some of the things Grandpa was struggling with are things Abby has been struggling with - like eating.... Our bodies really are amazing!!
There are many memories of my Grandpa, but one is his passing out Werther's candy. He would regularly "sneak" them to you-- usually had them in his pocket. I have not been able to eat the last few he gave me, because I knew I would eventually not get anymore.... We love you Grandpa! I look forward to seeing you again soon....
Here we are with all of our living grandparents at our wedding (Ridings - far right)