Jared's dad died night before last and we're all pretty sad around here. It still doesn't seem quite real. He was walking into a basketball game and collapsed and they could never revive him. He had a big scare a year ago and got some new stents put into his heart and had some troubles a couple months ago and got a pacemaker and was feeling much better. People who saw him last week said he looked better than he'd looked in a long long time and seemed to be doing really well. But I guess it was his time. We do wish so much that we'd had a chance to spend just a little more time with him. We were planning on going up there this next weekend for the sled dog races in Ashton and were looking forward to some good times with Jared's parents. It's hard not to wish I'd taken more pictures of him with the kids (he didn't like being in pictures much so I don't have a lot) and there are so many questions I never got to ask him about his time in the army or in the Idaho State Legislature, about Jared as a little kid, about so many little things. But I'm sure he's so grateful to be rid of his tired and broken body that had given him so many troubles with diabetes and heart disease. He really hasn't felt great the whole time I've known him.
Ashton and Isaac took it pretty hard. Isaac burst into tears and said "But he can't be dead! He promised to take us fishing this summer at that new fishing place! And he has to be there to take us on Jeep rides!" Isaac and Grandpa were always very close - Isaac was always the first to run and give Grandpa a great big hug and would often wander away from the rest of the crowd at the farm to go sit by Grandpa and chat with him. Ashton just buried his face and cried quietly and asked about what Grandma was going to do now. They both talked about how sad they were that he couldn't wait until we went up there this weekend to see him at least. We had a good little comic moment when Isaac, remembering Jared had said something about a basketball game in saying what had happened with Grandpa, brightened up and asked "wait, was grandpa PLAYING basketball when he died?" I bet Lynn wishes he could have gone that way!
But we're all so grateful we had as much time with him as we did. In a different day and age, he probably wouldn't have lived long enough to see any of our kids be born. He had 5-bypass heart surgery the week of our wedding and without that, he wouldn't have been around long at all. So we're grateful these kids do know their wonderful Grandpa and I'm so grateful I got a chance to get to know and love this wonderful man who helped produce such a fabulous son and who has taught us so much through his quiet example of generosity and loyalty and dependability and work and solid goodness. He's always expressed so much pride in his children and grandchildren and has always made everyone around him feel good about themselves. We love Lynn so much!
We're heading out today to go up to Ashton and help get ready for the funeral on Tuesday. It will be bittersweet - so fun to be with family and so sad to have such an important part of the family so conspicuously absent.