Written 8/12/2009 on the way to our beloved Opa’s funeral. I was thinking about Opa as the date that his soul left the earth approaches. I picked up my journal and I found this piece. I thought I would share it for my family in lieu of being able to attend his memorial service. I love you all. Lets continue to keep his legacy alive, always gather together whenever we all can, and never ever cut our ties.
Bismillah. (In the name of God).
My Opa was good with his hands, he could build anything. His mischievous, teasing mentality was a constant within our family. Whether it was a water fight with Oma in the car-(while driving no less!) Or an entire can of Japanese beetles dumped on my brothers head. Or even the way he would complain one minute about “wasting away” from the diet Oma put him on and then the next minute he would suggest that it was “Sean” who was ready for dessert…not him.
His house was truly an example of his craftsmanship. As children we all were passengers on his tractor, his gardener helpers, chicken feeders, explorers of his back yard. We would be allowed to use his binoculars to watch the animals. Opa even had a special relationship with the animals. His Chickens, Turkeys, Turkens, Pigs…and the not so domestic ones, perhaps the most memorable…the squirrels. Ohhh there was nothing that got him more flustered then the squirrels that dared to eat from his beloved bird feeders. An ongoing battle, he would rig those feeders with whatever he could to keep the squirrels out. He would buy the newest “squirrel proof” feeder-none of which were ever up to his standards. So he would make modifications with chicken wire, sheet metal, and plexi-glass. Until finally, those squirrel catapult feeders were invented. The squirrel would get onto the feeder, then to his delight, the creature would be launched into the air. At this sight, his laughter was contagious.
It really was the littlest things that gave him the most joy, and he passed that down to all of us. The most important thing to him was and always will be; family. A true craftsman, that molded us all into what we are today. Although his soul is no longer with us on this earth, the spirit he instilled in us will always be present. Whether it be the contagious laughter he passed down to Uncle Jeff, or the ingenuity he taught my brother, or the stubborn stick-to-it-tiveness that he has instilled in all of us.
Thank you Opa, for all that you did for us, and for all the struggle that you went through in your young life in order to survive and create this legacy with your beautiful and equally amazing wife Oma.