I certainly can’t do justice to a life of ninety-four years in a single blog post, but this week, I want to dedicate my post to a very special grandpa, father, husband, friend, WWII veteran, and all-around beautiful soul. My grandpa, Vern Small, was a testament to the power of the human spirit. My grandpa lived with passion.
Whether he was throwing a baseball around and mentoring young athletes, raising five rambunctious children, running a successful farm, whistling a tuneless melody as he puttered around the house, making scary faces at us grandchildren and then laughing uproariously as we giggled and screamed, buying me and my sister Archie comics and treats, telling endless, entertaining stories about the war and stories about friends long past, or giving everything to the love of his life and bellowing old songs with such joy as she “bounced around on the piano bench,” my grandpa lived his life to the absolute fullest.
He knew what love meant – sixty-six years with my grandma. When I asked him one day after she had passed if he still thought about her often, without hesitation, he replied, “Every single minute.” He knew what family meant – five children, twelve grandchildren and ten great grandchildren who all loved him more than words. He knew what friendship meant – he had friendships that lasted over seventy years. Seventy years. I can’t even fathom it.
And he laughed, sang, and loved right until the very end. My grandfather is an inspiration to me and everyone who knew him. I aspire to live a life like yours, Grandpa – one filled with love, passion, and joy. You will be greatly missed.