Sunday, December 10, 2006

Donald Frederick Wilhelm

My grandfather died last Thursday at 5:45pm.
He was surrounded by my aunts and uncles and grandmother, who laid her head next to his as he was dying and said, "Thank you sweetheart. Thank you for so many wonderful years of love and friendship and for our wonderful children."

I flew home early yesterday morning and cried when I saw my mom. I cried when we got home and saw my dad and Uncle Bob. I cried when I saw my grandmother, but she won't let anyone cry over this. She says he is in a better place, and he had such a full life, we should not cry for him.

My aunt Joycie came in about an hour later, when she and I saw each other, we just stopped where we stood and burst into tears. We cried in each other's arms for a while. Everyone laughed and said they knew we were going to do that.

We have a showing today from 4-8pm and another one tomorrow from 2:00pm - 8:00pm. He will be buried on Tuesday.

My brother flies in today with his wife and girls.

We have collected about 200 pictures from my grandfather's very happy life.
My cousin PJ made a slideshow to play at the memorial home and showed it to us last night. My uncle Tommy couldn't hold back the tears, and everyone gathered at my grandmother's house cried themselves into headaches.

My grandma would tell us the stories behind all the pictures as they flashed up. She had told a story of how my grandfather wrote her a song and wouldn't play it for her until she agreed to go steady with him. He carried his violin in the backseat of his car for two years, ready to play it for her when she agreed. One night they were "necking" in his car and she told him she would go steady with him. He whipped out the violin and played her a song he called, My Darling Nancy. A picture of my grandpa leaning against a car flipped up on the screen and my grandma called out, "that's the car we were necking in!!"

My grandmother fell in love with my grandpa at first sight. She told us all that, but said that she still made him wait two years until she would go steady with him. Because she was a good girl.

My grandfather loved my grandmother with all his heart for all his life.

2 comments:

Alex said...

Erin,

I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. My thoughts are with you and your family.

Love,
alex

skroll said...

Wonderful story, of course, I'm crying...love you and miss you!!