Remembering Grandpa Pete

This weekend, heaven gained another Packer fan. My mom’s dad, Grandpa Pete.

He lived a good, long life. But still. It doesn’t make it any easier. This year just isn’t getting any easier.

He had been in and out of the hospital for several months but passed away peacefully at home on Sunday morning. I like to think that others I know in heaven (my dad and Grandma Kletz to name a few) gave him a big warm welcome. I also can’t write a word more without mentioning my Uncle Pete and Aunt Gina who took such great care of him in his final years and final days with selflessness, strength and grace that I can only aspire to.

In true South Side fashion, grandpa loved his sports. As kids, whenever we were at grandma and grandpas, the sounds of White Sox baseball would almost always be in the background. He might also be gone fishing as that was another one of his favorite things to do. (Coming home to my grandma’s cooking was definitely another favorite).

After I moved out of state (15 years ago now) I would always try to come home and see as many family members as possible during my brief visits, including everyone at the Kletz house. He was always glad to see me and my wild, growing crew. He enjoyed the simple good things in life and I think that’s something I can learn from.

It breaks my heart that every time I come home now, there’s often one less person, one less soul that used to always be there. I know this is how life works, the only thing that is constant is change and loss, but I’m never ready for it and I don’t think I will ever get used to it.

Grandpa, I hope your happy, comfortable, and at peace. I hope the sun is on your face, I hope the fish are biting, and I hope you are with the ones you love.

“What we once enjoyed and deeply loved we can never lose, for all that we love deeply becomes a part of us.” -Helen Keller