Well my sweet Grandpa Hawkins finally passed on this morning after years of several ailments and missing my grandmother. He was 89 and was blessed by my uncle and cousin right before he passed on and did so peacefully.
The funeral is this Saturday in Provo so Ambrose, Asher and I will leave Thursday afternoon and Thomas will join us for our regularly scheduled mainland trip about a week later.
I am sad because he was truly a wonderful person and I will miss him dearly, but mostly just very relieved that he won't be in so much pain anymore and that he can finally reunite with my grandma after six and half years of separation.
He was a courageous Marine who was at Pearl Harbor when it was bombed, he was an example to our whole family as he served an honorable mission with my grandmother when I was little, he managed the Church ranch in Florida for many years, he helped too many people to count, he always said, "Sure glad to see this pretty girl" and gave me a scruffy Grandpa Hawkins kiss each time I saw him (even if it was at the end of a 10 hour drive to see him when I sure didn't feel too pretty until he said it), he raised a large, happy, successful family in righteousness and now he has endured to the end (just like I remember him teaching me about in FHE when I was little) and completed his mission here on earth.
When I think about the greeting he must be enjoying this very minute I want to shout for joy and throw away every part of me that is lazy, sinful, and petty because we all have a lot to look forward to if we do this life right and there isn't a moment to lose.
Of course, to that I know Grandpa Hawkins would wink at me and say with that sly grin, "You'll get old too... if you live long enough!"
To one of the last true cowboys: thank you so much for your lifelong example! Thanks for the tall tale bedtime stories, for not getting mad when I misplaced your tough guy cowboy boots in the basement when I was nine, for teaching me to ride a horse and for always making me feel loved. I will miss you tremendously. I love you.