Friday, July 22, 2011

Grandpa's Funeral


These past few years it was tender to see my Grandparents getting older. It got to the point that they couldn't live on their own in their home any more. I'm so grateful that my parents were able to take them and care for them. I think Grandpa realized that he didn't have to hold on any longer to take care of my Grandma. We all knew his time was getting closer and closer. When he did pass away I faced many different emotions. I miss him, I'm grateful that he's not hurting any more and relieved to know that his is in Heaven with his parents, brothers and sisters and our Heavenly Parents. This knowledge is so comforting in times of loss. My heart went and continues to go out to my Grandma Ras. She has memory problems and couldn't remember that he had passed away. It was heart breaking talking to her and hearing about how she had to relive the inital moment of learning that her sweetheart died. She understands now, but I know it's still hard.

The Funeral was amazing. We were all together, well almost.... we missed Kirsten and the kiddos. But it was so fun to see cousins that we haven't seen in years. All of the 'blood' Grandchildren were there except Shad who is on his mission. We laughed and cried together! I'm grateful that we have such an amazing family, that we have the knowledge we can all live together forever, that we will be able to be with Grandpa again. He was truly a great man!!

At the Funeral all the Grandkids and Great Grandkids sang. It was special.

My Cousin Megan gave a talk... It was perfect!!! I'm grateful I have a copy of it!!!! She nailed it!!!

Megans’ talk
You might wonder who the luckiest kids in all the world are. Well I can tell you. They’re not kids sponsored by Oprah, or kids whose parents own candy stores. The luckiest kids in the world are the grandkids of Lloyd Rasmussen.

When the 18 of us saw that Grandpa Ras, our favorite person in the world, was dying and would soon be leaving us, we knew we had to do something to thank him for the many things we have learned from him. Each of us wrote him a short letter thanking him and with our parents’ help we found pictures of grandpa and each one of his grandkids. We made them into a book that we will forever treasure.

Today I’ll be sharing thoughts from all of my cousins’ letters. Though he didn’t often give us formal lessons—the things we learned from watching this sweet man have shaped our lives.

He taught us what it means to be a husband. We loved hearing him call Grandma “Miss America.” We loved seeing our grandpa escort Grandma, Aunt Winnie, and their neighbor Helen to plays and sporting events at BYU. He’d drop off the girls at the door, go park the car a mile away, jog back to the event, and do it all over again at the end. He took such great care of “the girls.” And if we had the chance to go with Gramps, he gave us the same treatment. Grandpa’s love for Grandma was evident in everything he did. Miss America is a fitting title for Grandma because Grandpa truly treated her like a queen. From grandpa the boys learned how to be husbands and the girls learned what to look for in one.

Grandpa taught us to have fun. Nobody played cards better than Grandpa Ras—and when you got to learn a new game by being on his team, you knew you were gonna win. Almost as fun as watching Grandpa’s card skills, was hearing him shout phrases like “Let’s bid ‘em to the moon!” Or “who dealt this mess?” He always had his card ready to play before the hand was led—like he knew what you’d play before you did. We loved seeing Grandma steal peeks at his hand (though she’d never admit it). In addition to card games—Grandpa filled our summers with magic. Grandpa often took the boys on backpacking trips in the mountains. He’d give us rides on his old Honda motorcycle and take us camping in his trailer. Grandpa would spend the night out on the parade route for the 4th of July to secure a prime location every year!

One of the things we loved best, though, was boating. Gramps taught us to waterski and if we were a little too timid, he’d talk us into taking a “nice, slow, sensible ride” on the tube. It didn’t take long for us to realize there was nothing nice, slow, or sensible about his tube rides—once I truly wondered if he was trying to kill me—but as we hung on to the straps and each other for dear life, hitting wave after wave, we fell in love with the boat, with muddy, stinky Utah Lake, and with the knowledge we had that our grandpa was the funnest grandpa on the block. Those summers on the lake transformed us from cousins to best friends.

We all remember Grandpa tickling us. He didn’t ever tickle us until we wet our pants—we left those shenanigans up to Shaun and Sue—but we could always count on Grandpa chasing us around the yard if we taunted him by dissing his favorite singer. Saying “Frank Sinatra’s Not So Hot-ra” was always a request for tickles. We also remember Gramps tickling us with the question “Who’s girl are you?” “Or who’s boy are you?” He wouldn’t stop until we’d shout with tears streaming down our faces “Your girl, Grandpa!” or “I’m your boy!” We’ll always be your boys and girls, Grandpa, always.

We also remember the way Grandpa made us feel about ourselves. Each of us felt like the favorite grandchild and we each have solid evidence to prove it. He would dote on us, call our parents to brag about us, and make us feel like we were amazing even for accomplishing dumb things like checking the flavor to water ratio of his crystal light concoctions. He always called on our birthdays—often before 7 am.

He made us feel important by spending time with us. We loved BYU games. He’d hand the usher a handful of tickets and then shoo in all us grandkids before the usher had a chance to see if the number of tickets actually equaled the number of kids. We’d watch grandpa diligently keep basketball statistics during the game. When we’d watch games on tv at Grandpa’s house, he’d pace around the room, jump on his mini trampoline, and do push ups to calm his nerves. We loved watching him worry—even if the game wasn’t close.

Grandpa taught us to be generous. You knew when you went to Grandma and Grandpa’s that Grandpa would feed you. Often we’d cry out “No! No more Grandpa! Really I’m full!” before he threw another scoop of potatoes onto our plates. Grandpa always had a basement full of pop and a freezer full of ice cream. He kept a candy machine on the counter, a bag of popcorn in the hall, and licorice in the cupboard. And he liked nothing more than to feed you and watch you enjoy it. He always had a favorite restaurant. We remember trips to BYU cafeteria and Chucka-rama (which we lovingly called Chuck-a-rampa) He loved places where “you can see all the food” and pick what you want. He also sent us on runs for subway sandwiches, Little Cesar’s Pizza, and McDonalds for Big Mac Monday. We will always remember how kindly and patiently he treated us when we broke mirrors, lamps, and even once or twice the pool table. And we’ll never forget the time we found and devoured a bag of licorice in the basement without asking. We felt such remorse at having “stolen” from our grandpa that we sadly headed upstairs to make our apologies. Grandpa exclaimed, “Holy Toledo! I forgot! I bought a bag for each of you!” and he handed each of us our own 2 lb bag of licorice.

Our grandpa wasn’t only a true gentleman, but also a truly gentle man. He cried with joy over everything: mission calls, engagements, weddings, BYU acceptance letters, birth announcements. We cry with joy over the life our Grandpa lived and the wonderful man he was. We knew of the tender concern and love that he felt for each of us and we knew we were prized in his heart. Grandpa, you will always be prized in our hearts, and we can’t wait to see you again.

With love,
Your grand children

Me and my siblings!! I love these guys!!!
Our family
The Cousins
All the cousins (with Spouses!!)
Grandma and her 2 sisters

After the funeral, we all went to Grandma and Grandpas house and just played and hung out. It felt so good to be together!! It's exactly what Grandpa would have wanted us to do!

Dad and his boys were able to go to the Priesthood Session of Conference together!


Jaime said...

Thanks for sharing! It's so nice that you have such a great family!

kelly said...

wow, beautiful post. Your cousins talk was perfect.

Lizz Andersen said...

I LOVE this post Becca! You did sucha good job on it and captured all the memories and tender moments. Thanks for taking the time to write it all up and posting the pictures so that we could all enjoy it and treasure those sweet times that we got to be together this April

Spencer and Menolly said...

You will never believe how crazy this is... I was doing a search for fancy nancy birthday party images with my daughter and she pointed to a picture she wanted to see and it was your blog and I am like Hey! I know them!! You have a beautiful family. Sorry for your loss. I hope you are doing well.