Friday, November 18, 2011
My beloved Grandpa is so close to taking his final breaths here on earth. Every time my phone rings, a mixture of emotions confuses me.
I want so badly for my Grandpa to be set free from his body that does not work, to be set free from confusion from his deteriorated mind that time has stolen.
He is trapped in a weak and failing body, but I know his soul well. Grandpa Joe is a free spirit and soon to be in the arms of Jesus, Free at last. But the human part of me is a little scared to let the earthly shell of him go, fearful to depend only on memories.
Last night I laid in bed thinking of all the things I wanted to write about my grandpa, but it seems overwhelming to use mere words to describe the incredible influence Grandpa Joe had on my life. So in the mean time I want to share a tribute that my sister's husband wrote about our grandpa Joe on Facebook this morning:
As he awaits his moment to go to his eternal home I thought I would take a moment to public tribute a man that many call, and many that would love to call, Grandpa. Joe Wiegand has written memoirs of a fascinating life, truly a documentation of the greatest generation. We know his story well, one of loving his wife and children, war hero, inventor, spirituality, hard work and charity.
A life worth studying, a life worth honoring, and a life that I am confident will be rewarded with “Well done thou good and faithful servant.”
I feel especially close to Joe as I believe my wife Gayla, his grand-daughter (I think his favorite – inside joke to all Wiegands), inherited so much of him in her charity, love for the underdog, compassion and willingness to love and help.
No respecter of person and no job to low – that is what Joe passed to my family. Joe has an innate desire to believe in people and to sympathize with failures, never standing in judgment. Quick to humor and a flashing good looking smile, never a stranger in his life. A goal to make every person in the supermarket lines an instant friend, bringing 10 seconds of joy to them. Joe always would error to the side of over forgiveness, blind love, and compassion.
He knew that he was often taken advantage of, subject of judgment, however, he leaves us with a great impression, respect, love, admiration, and frankly I can’t even remember the people that might have abused his love, but Joe we will never forget. Yes, he passed these traits to his family, but fortunately not the trait of drinking the cereal milk left out from all the little kids. I look forward to being reunited someday with Joe.
He is the man that you wish you could call buddy when you were young, hoped you could call a mentor as you went thru life, and if lucky you called him grandpa, father, or husband. To those that know Joe, he will always be the visual and definer of the term, “A life well lived.” Joe Wiegand - Farmer
~written by Jason Stoecker on Nov. 18, 2011~
at 6:59 AM