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Monday, July 11, 2011

Life & Death

Today was filled with so many emotions.
My dear brother & his beautiful, amazing wife gave birth
to their first child, Alayah Mae this morning.

Today was also my Grandfather's funeral.
It seems like lately so many ironic things are taking place.
Many people have pointed out ways grandpa is "showing up"
in there life since he has left us here.
I can't think of a better gift then to have the sweetest
little blessing, Alayah, join our family on a day
we have come together to honor grandpa's life.

Wasn't he handsome??
Here is what I said at the funeral, followed by 364 pictures:

Donald Torgeson was a great man & being his granddaughter was a continuous source of joy.

As a child, the second we came in the door we would race through the house yelling “Grandpa! Grandpa! Grandpa!” We would run into his arms and shower him with hugs and kisses.

He knew just the way to a child’s heart, he would count out 10 M&M’s for each of us.

Throughout our stay at his house he would tell us stories, play games, sing songs, and teach us to pray.

He would take us camping where he taught us to fish and live off the land, even if that meant a 5th wheel with cable television and a microwave oven.

He took us on road trips to Disneyland, always picking the hotels with swimming pools because he knew we loved to swim.

Grandpa love music & loved to dance, he was the life of every party.

He was always completely supportive and encouraging in each & every endeavor throughout the years as we grew up.

When we lost grandma several years ago, grandpa seemed a little lost, we all were.

I remember him saying to me as he stood in his kitchen “Sarah, I need to ask you something. Bonnie liked to have a lot of rugs all over the floor in here” I looked down and sure enough there were 4 or 5 mats scattered around the kitchen floor. “Do you think it would be ok if I got rid of some of these? I just don’t get it, if I spill something on one of them I have to wash the whole mat, wouldn’t it make more sense to just wash the floor?” He was very serious, he didn’t want to mess this up, he was in charge of everything now, even these little details he wasn’t used to attending to. So I gave him permission to get rid of as many rugs as he wanted, he looked so relieved.

I was quite impressed at how well grandpa took charge of his life at that point.

He was amazing.

I feel so blessed that he got to be such a big part of the first 3 1/2 years of my daughter’s life

Having him live down the street made stopping by for visits a regular occurrence. She delighted in his hugs, his smile and little offerings of chocolate, just as I had as a child.

Ava always asked to go see him and even serious little Norah got a big smile on her face the first time I put her in his arms, he had that effect on people.

I would often receive calls of the most urgent manner, grandpa needed me and I would rush to his side carrying his emergency stash of sugar cookies or 3 flavors of milkshakes he had specifically requested.

He always seemed to be able to dream up something he needed me to bring, sometimes as often as 3 times in one day.

Weather that be ice cream, Kleenex or Tylenol I quickly realized it was less about the shopping list and more about the fact that he just wanted me there with him.

There were definitely times where I found myself saying “That Man!” just as my grandmother always had. In those moments I couldn’t help but laugh, that man may have been a bit exasperating at times but he also filled every heart around him with pure joy.

I feel so blessed and thankful for every moment we got to spend together.

As I laid my head down to sleep after the last fireworks
were enjoyed on the Forth of July I said a little prayer.

I have always said prayers before I go to bed.
A great man got me in the habit of that.

This particular evening, the night before my birthday
I prayed that Grandpa would let go.
That he would go and be with the Lord and reunite with his beautiful wife,

my grandmother Bonnie.

I knew that was what he wanted.
He was tired, tired of barely existing, tired of depending on people for everything. Exhausted from his body working so hard to recover every next set back over and over again.

So I said a little prayer, and the next morning it was answered. He got his wish.
It was time.

Grandpa lived a full rich life filled with laughter & lots
of love. He danced, he played, he partied it up.
He enjoyed every day to it’s fullest.

He loved us all and we all adored him.

So it may of not made for the best birthday for me,
but I did get my wish. Grandpa is at peace now.
And I was reminded again of the power of prayer.

I ended up with a birthday filled with thoughts
of a wonderful man so close to my heart.
I got to hold tight to my family and rejoice in
all of the happy memories he brought to us.

If I know one thing for sure, I know that heaven has a whole lot more singing going on now and a room filled with people

“Doin’ the Don”

WE LOVE YOU GRANDPA


Little Norah

The kids
Little Miss Ava
Kate, Abby & Patti
Linda
Auntie Jessica

Grandpa
Tiffani & Colton
Mike & Kristen
Tiffani & Ava
Ava
Abby
Sleepy Norah
Best Friends
Tiffani, Erik & Best Husband Ever
Great Grandpa John
This cracked me up, grandpa brought a cooler filled
with beer every where he went, so to honor him someone put
this cooler outside the church.
("Sinners Welcome" read the sign on the church reader board)
Me & my uncle Scott

Jan dancing with Grandpa
My Mom dancing with her Dad
Linda & Jan
Jeff & Jessica
My Peeps
Telling Stories
Erik, John, Jeff & Mark
Grandpa loved flowers
Jeff & Ava
Flowers everywhere.
John, he was great throughout the whole day. He put together
an awesome slideshow along with giving two nice speeches.
My Love
Linda & Jessica
Kim, Abby & Linda
Colton
Erik
Jeff & John
Jessica & Dad
Dancing
Norah
Vivienne & Scott
Jan & Jessica
The kids, Final Picture with Their Dad
PrettyAnd then off to the hospital to meet the new baby.

The proud parents
Beautiful New Family
Tiny toes
Couldn't be happier for D'Auna & Chris.

What an emotional day, a beautiful baby girl was born, then a funeral for one of the best men I've ever known. Great day filled with joy, a few tears, but mostly just rejoicing in life, it's a beautiful thing.

3 comments:

Nain said...

What a beautiful tribute to an amazing man!

Chris Barton said...

I read this the day Grandpa passed, it was written by King Solomon who was one of the wisest people to have lived. Your post reminds me of it.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-14:
 "There is a time for everything,
   and a season for every activity under the heavens:

  a time to be born and a time to die,
   a time to plant and a time to uproot,
 a time to kill and a time to heal,
   a time to tear down and a time to build,
 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
   a time to mourn and a time to dance,
  a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
   a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
 a time to search and a time to give up,
   a time to keep and a time to throw away,
 a time to tear and a time to mend,
   a time to be silent and a time to speak,
 a time to love and a time to hate,
   a time for war and a time for peace.

What do workers gain from their toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him."

I am so lucky to have such a great family and a wise sister. I Love you Sarah!

Rhi said...

Beautiful post, Sarah. You have such an amazing family. I'm sorry for your loss, but its so good that he is at peace.