Thursday, October 14, 2010

Grandpa Fillerup

This is my Grandpa. He has been such an influence in my life. When I moved from Utah to go to school at Northwest I found it so comforting to have my grandparents near. As a young girl we lived close but it wasn't until I moved back did I become so close to my them. I lived with them the summer after my first year of college in their basement. Grandpa was always good for a joke with dinner. I shouldn't have been surprised when after dinner he would study the scriptures in both English and Portuguese. It seems they were the first to know I would marry Ben (even before I did) and I remember they told my parents, who hadn't met him yet, what a good guy he was. I got a call from my mom asking what was going on. They were serving a mission in New Jersey when Ben and I got married and moved to Lovell. Grandpa grew up in Lovell and would we would write back and forth and he would tell me all about his days growing up. The regrets, mischief, and pleasures. When I had Brooklyn he and my Grandma came to the hospital to visit me and their first great grandchild. I remember he ran into a friend who's daughter was having a baby to. He thought that was pretty funny. Grandpa had friends everywhere, and if not he made them. He and Grandma always came to my girls birthday parties, baby blessings, and dance recitals. They made such an effort to support us. Some of my girls fondest memories are going up on Tuesdays for dance and getting to visit Grandpa & Grandma after. Grandpa would take the girls in his studio and set them up with watercolors and paper and they would all paint together. I remember when the girls would act up he would just shake his head and give a little chuckle. One time Brooklyn found an old children's song book and took it to Grandpa to sing with her. I still remember that voice singing with her, the same one I had heard singing me Happy Birthday over the phone for years. He took the time to make the little things count. In the more recent years their trips here have been few, so we spend more time at their house. When we haven't been for awhile the girls start bugging us to go. When Grandpa took a turn for the worse and his years of neglecting his diabetes caught up with him, it hit us all hard. I spent many days just being there, wishing now it would have been more. He passed away on July 2 at the age of 86. It is hard to remember all the wonderful things you love about a person who's gone, hoping they knew how much they meant to you. The tears are flowing as I write this, sad tears, because I miss him. I go and visit Grandma now on a regular basis. She is doing amazingly well, she misses her sweetheart and has his pictures surrounding her chair reminding her of happier days. The girls get mad when I go while they are in school because they love to go see Grandma too. We still say "Hi-ho" when we walk in the door and occasionally I find the girls peeking in the studio, after I shoo them out I take a deep breath just for his smell. I feel very blessed to have had him this long and that he was able to be part of my girls lives. I have caught Alex crying because she misses him too. That's when we curl up and read his book of his life history. Boring bedtime story, I know, but it seems to make us all feel better.


Jake and Gretchen said...

I fell in love with your Grandpa just reading this. I miss you guys! How is it that we live so close and yet go so long without seeing each other! I've rediscovered your blog...I didn't know you had made all these posts so I went through and looked at all the past ones. I laughed out loud when I read the one about driving down the Strip. Good times!Your Grandpa is a really neat guy and how awesome that you have so many great memories of him.

Jill said...

Aubrey what a tender and heartfelt tribute to your dear grandpa. You are doing a wonderful thing by using his life stories as bedtime stories...his great legacy will live on and not soon be forgotten because he will always be deep in your hearts. You are an awesome wife and mother and grand-daughter. I am sure your grandma is extremely grateful for your frequent visits.