Yesterday, July 12, 2014, I attended my Grandpa Alex Gibson Hunt's funeral. This was a day I had just convinced myself would never happen cause my Grandma and Grandpa were just going to live forever. Sadly, that didn't happen. Grandpa got sick a little while ago. There was several issues but one of the most serious was Cirrhosis of the Liver. With this diagnosis and the other medical issues he was having we knew his time here on this earth was limited but still I wanted to believe he would just get better and live forever. But after suffering for some time our Heavenly Father decided it was time for him to return home the morning of July 6, 2014. Even though it was expected, it didn't make it any easier.
I have never really had to experience death. I have known people who have passed away but I have been blessed to never have had someone close to me pass away. My grandmother (my mothers mom) passed away when I was 5 but I was to young to remember. It was a different experience being on that side of a funeral. Being the ones in the Relief Society room for the family prayer, the one following the casket into the cultural hall and sitting in the reserved seats up front. It was a very different experience for sure.
I wasn't sure how I was going to handle the viewing. It was hard to walk in and see this man I love more then word can describe laying in that casket. But at the same time, it wasn't really him, it was just his body. And even though I knew that, I wanted so bad to wrap my arms around him and hear him tell me, "you get prettier and prettier everyday" while giving me a kiss. I wanted to smell him and feel his warm embrace and see that smile and look of adoration on his face as he looked up at me. But of course none of that happened. I just had to look at his body and imagine all those things in my head and heart. It was really hard to do, harder then I thought it would be. I held my emotions together the best I could but inside I felt like I was breaking. When someone that close to you leaves this earth it truly feels like a piece of your heart goes with them.
From the moment he passed I quickly started regretting all the questions I never asked or the visits that never happened. Did he know how much I love him and how much he meant to me? Did he know how much I looked up to him and how much his love and approval meant to me? Did he know how much joy and happiness his love for my grandma brought me? I'm sure he did but how I regret not taking time to open up more when I was with him or how much I regret never having him come to Thatcher and teach me about my heritage. Or at least sitting with him at his home while he told me all about it. However, regretting won't change anything so I know it is silly for me to dwell on that.
Grandpa's services were wonderful. I recorded Justin as he gave Grandpa's life story and as my dad and each of his sisters shared their thought and memories of him. I plan to transcribe those so I can add those memories of him to my own book of memories. My grandpa was a wonderful man filled with so much love. There is not one single time I can remember seeing him that he did not give me a hug and a kiss on the lips and tell me I was pretty or beautiful. I never had to wonder if he loved me cause he always told me he did. Even though he has 10 other grandchildren who I know he loves just as much as me, he always made me feel like maybe he just loved me the most, that I was the most special and I am sure all of his grandchildren felt that way.
Seeing my Grandpa throughout my life and then hearing so many wonderful things about him yesterday really makes me want to be a better person. His love for my Grandma was incredible. I'm not sure I know of a stronger love between spouses. He adored my Grandma and wasn't afraid to show it. I want to be that kind of spouse. I want my husband and anyone who ever sees us to know just how much I love him and how strong our marriage is.
Grandpa made everyone feel special and beautiful. I wanna be that type of person that can always make someone feel better about themselves. I may not tell everyone that they get prettier and prettier everyday but those were some of my favorite words out of my grandpa's mouth. There have been times in my life when I have felt far from beautiful but he would always change that.
Grandpa was good with money and he used to tell me, "If you are every in a bind financially, double your fast offering." Of course at first that did not make any sense to me. How would paying out more money in fast offering give me more money. But knowing he is a smart man I have used this advice for many years now and every single month I pay my fast offerings I think of my Grandpa. I always have and I probably always will cause thanks to always paying my tithing and taking his advice with my fast offerings, we have never been in a financial crisis that we were not able to get ourselves out of. Something always works out and we are able to move on.
One thing that was said at my Grandpa funeral was that when asked what he cherished most his answer was his Temple Recommend. What an amazing answer and another amazing example he is. Just hearing that made me want to strive and be better about my temple attendance and doing the work for my ancestors who have passed on.
I could probably go on for weeks about my Grandpa but I just wanted to get a couple thoughts down before to much time passed. Although yesterday was one of my hardest days ever, I am blessed to have so many amazing memories of my sweet Grandpa. I am grateful that when I think of him that I don't see the body laying in that beautiful casket, instead I see one of the most handsome guys around with the sweetest smile ever. I was so grateful I was able to visit him in the hospital 2 weeks before he passed. He was awake and alert and me, him and my aunt were just able to sit and talk for awhile. I had planned to take Jordan to see him on Monday cause he just loved my Jordan so much. The fact that she is adopted never matter one tiny bit. He would always just say, "I love my babies no matter how they come to us. She is truly your daughter." Unfortunately, we were just a day late for that visit but I will cherish that last time I got to spend with him and to hear him say, "there's my beautiful girl" one last time. He has left a lasting impression my heart and has inspired me to be a better person. I hope as he looks down on me that he will continue to be proud of the women I have become and the better women I continue to strive each day to be. I am beyond grateful for my understanding and testimony of the plan of salvation and eternal families. Although I will miss him so much during my remaining days here on this earth, I know that this is just a temporary separation. I know that I will one day be able to greet him again with a big huge and kiss and hear him say, "Hey Sugar, hows my beautiful girl?" Til that day comes I will try to be the best person I can. I will remember him each day and be happy when I think about him and cherish the times we had together. He is one of the greatest men who ever lived in my book. Til we meet again Grandpa.............