Aspire to Inspire

I am often asked who my hero is. Who is the one person who’s shoes I’d like to walk in for a day. Who is the person I aspire to be. Or sometimes, I am even asked, who was my mentor, who taught me to give, who taught me to be a selfless person.

aaaaThat answer is pretty simple and spoken without hesitation. The tall, handsome man on the right. My grandpa.

My grandpa has been getting ready to go see God for a few months now. And as of the past week, he is definitely ready to go. And I am so excited and so…almost in awe of what he will see, feel and just be. I try to imagine the most beautiful, happiest day of my life x1000 and I get goosebumps. It is beyond amazing.

A few days ago I wrote this on my phone….

I don’t want my grandpa to die. I always say it’s okay, I understand, he’s lived an amazing life, as long as he doesn’t suffer, I totally understand when it’s his time to go. But I don’t want him to go. And I know it’s just for selfish reasons because I will miss him so much. It’s hard not to be selfish because he’s always been in my life, he’s always been the person that I aspire to be, he’s always been the person that I want to make proud of me, he’s always but my grandpa. So I can be selfish because he’s mine. My grandpa.

When I get phone calls and I hear he’s been sleeping all day or when I hear he’s a little bit confused and isn’t sure of things around him. When I hear he’s having a hard time walking or he’s lost his strength I get scared for him. My grandpa is the kindest, most gentle, caring person I’ve ever been around. He smiles all the time. And I mean all the time. He makes me feel  loved and happy and safe. He makes me feel like I’m still 7 years old and I don’t  have a worry in the world because I know he will take care of all the worries for me.

I don’t want my grandpa to leave because I love him too much. Because I don’t know what it will be like without him in my life. Because I’ve always had him here.  He’s always been mine. I don’t want to share him with anybody else and I don’t want to forget the way he sounds. I don’t want to forget the way his eyes light up when he sees me, I don’t want to forget how soft his shirt is when he hugs me, I don’t want to forget all the great stories or the funny stories he shares. I don’t want my grandpa to leave. I don’t wanna walk in his house and he not be there. I do want to sit at his kitchen table and he not be next to me  to me forcing me to eat chocolate. I don’t want to see the napkin on the table that is empty, that is empty because he’s not there to draw a picture on it for me. What am I going to do without him. Who am I going to want to be. Who’s going to be the person that I aspire to be.

I know I’m being selfish. I know I am. But he’s mine and no one loves him more than I love them. I don’t want him to be scared, frustrated, or is sad. I sat next to him last weekend I told him that was going to be ok. He told me he was not scared to die. He told me that a couple years ago he was scared but he’s not scared anymore. I looked at him, and smiled is said with complete faith that Heaven is an amazing place, the most beautiful place, with the most love that you’ll ever feel.  I’m so excited for him and he’s going to be so happy. And at that time I thought I would be happy too. To know that my grandpa will be safe, surrounded by beauty, with the feeling of joy. Pure happiness. But I’m not happy.  I’m scared.  And I hate feeling selfish but I’m scared for me too loose him.  I’m not scared for him. He deserves the best place ever and I know God will make that happen. But I want to be with him.


My grandpa is only saying very few words daily and is in his final days. We drove up last night. The only words I heard him say were “Hi, Dave” to my husband. But I did see his eyes light up and hi

s face fill with color when I said hello. I saw his arms open up to give me a hug. And what I did hear, most of all, was his heart full of love while he held me close and rubbed my back. I love this man whit my entire being.  I told him, “I will always think of you when I smile. When I smile it will be because you taught me to give and love like no other. Every smile I see on someones face will remind me of him smiling back at me. “

And when I go home again in 2days I will make you some very special pieces from his workshop in his basement. My grandpa fixed watches and made me amazing jewelry while he could. It was all jimmy-rigged of spare watch pieces and beads. I made a few today for his nurses and I’ll make some more when I go up for the auction. I know my grandpa would want to help.


John Buchanan

Denise–you could not have stated this any better. We have all been so blessed to have him for our Grandpa!! I feel the same way you do, the same way your brothers and sisters feel. The same way my brothers feel, as well as all of our kids. When grandpa goes to Heaven,he will be the best one earth has set up in a long, long time! He is as close to perfect as a man can get.

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