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Pop

My grandfather passed away this past weekend. The funeral was yesterday, and really was a great tribute to Pop's life. The church was packed, both for the funeral yesterday, and for the visitation the day before. A lot of people had a lot of really nice things to say about Pop, and it really was great to see so many family and friends come to honor Pop. Just by the number and variety of people who came, it was obvious the impact that Pop had in the community.

My family asked me to say a few words at the service, which I was honored to do. This is what I said.

Good morning.

It's quite an honor to be able to stand here today and say a few words about Pop. He was a great man who meant a lot to a lot of people. I'm sure that everyone here could share a few stories about him. Over the past few days, I've heard some of those stories from some of you. This morning, I'd like to take a few moments to tell you a little about the man I know and love, by sharing a couple of the things that he taught me.

The first thing that Pop taught me was the importance of family. I'm blessed to be part of a large family -- a family that Pop helped hold together. Every year, he would host a reunion for the family, and we would come from far and wide to catch up with each other. As everyone was enjoying the fellowship, Pop would be going through the crowd -- taking pictures and talking to everyone.

Pop really had a way of connecting with anyone. He loved spending time with us grandkids. Especially when we were younger, he had nicknames for each of us. I was "Scrooge." My brother was "Scrooge." My cousin was "Scrooge." My other cousin was "Scrooge." And... Well... You get the picture. It was funny when any one of us was alone with him -- and it was hilarious when there were several of us around.

Pop just had a way of making you comfortable. Whenever I had the opportunity to spend time with him, he made me feel like we were equals. He always asked me questions about my life and always listened to what I had to say, throwing in bits of advice every now and then. Pop always had time to talk, and when he talked with you, he made you feel special.

Another thing Pop taught me was how important it is to keep learning and stay active. When Pop wasn't working, he was fishing. Or gardening. Or just plain tinkering. It seems like every time I'd visit, he'd have a new project to show me or tell me about.

In the past few years, his curiosity and love of learning brought him into the world of computers. I still remember how cool it was a few years ago when I got an email from my grandfather! In no time, he was surfing the net with the best of 'em -- he especially enjoyed being able to keep up with the family through email. Pop was always learning -- he was never afraid to tackle a new challenge. This is one of the many things I admired about him.

I could stand up here and tell stories about Pop all day. If I did, they'd just end up being different versions of the same things -- Pop loved his friends and family, and he loved learning. We would all do well to go through life with that same love.

Pop will be missed, that's for sure. But the legacy he is leaving behind will continue, as long as we hold his memory in our hearts.

Thank you for letting me share these memories with you today. And thank you, Pop, for helping me make the memories in the first place.


After the service, it was nice when several people told me that I said exactly what they would have wanted to say.

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