Today is the 5th anniversary of my grandpa’s passing, so to celebrate his memory, I thought I would share a lyric that I wrote for him as well as some special memories. My grandpa, Tony Rodriguez, was such an amazing person, he loved God and his family with all his heart. I very much miss him and have lately been remembering some of the great times my family and I shared with him.
My parents, my sister, and I lived with my grandpa and grandma (my dad’s parents) for about 16 years of my life. So because of that, my sister and I were very close to both my grandparents. I feel like we were so privileged to see their everyday lives. And while they weren’t perfect; they truly lived their lives to love and serve God, each other, and their family. I learned so much from both of them. I didn’t realize it back then as a kid, that someday the everyday mundane things would be what sticks out in my mind the most. Especially now that my grandpa has been in heaven for the past 5 years. My grandma, Lupe, is still alive, but at 90 years old she’s of course not the same as she used to be. She can’t remember much and can’t hold conversations anymore. It’s almost like I miss her as if she’s gone already too. And, yes, even though this is a blog dedicated to my grandpa, I can’t talk about him without sharing about her as well. :)
Like I said, the small things stick out in my mind the most. Things like: waking up to the smell of their coffee in the morning. The comforting sound of them making breakfast at 5 or 6 am. The sound of my grandpa playing the saxophone (his favorite song to play was “When The Saints Go Marching In”), often in the early morning hours … trying to drown out the noise with a pillow over my head and sleep to no avail lol (I miss that). Going grocery shopping with them and getting donuts at Shipley’s afterwards. Running to both of them when we were upset and crying, they would hold us and make us laugh. My grandpa holding my hand and walking me home from school. He had the best laugh and gave the warmest hugs. He would tap dance to make us laugh … it’s the simple things.
Other Special Memories ~
~ My grandpa was a rare man in the way that he would help my grandma cook, clean, sew, and garden. I loved that about him. I hope and pray to marry a man just like that. To have a marriage that’s a partnership. They were a real team. He liked things very nice and neat. His clothes perfectly ironed and folded. His hair had to be perfectly in place – he would spray it till it didn’t move lol. My sister, my cousins, and I always laugh about the fact that he would even iron his money lol. I kid you not! I’m pretty sure he encouraged my sister to do the same. To my knowledge she never has but I know she’s thought about it. ;)
~ Both my grandpa and grandma were awesome cooks! They would make enchiladas, beans, spanish rice, and homemade tortillas for family get togethers. My grandpa made great homemade chicken nuggets with white country gravy.
~ Like I mentioned above, my grandpa was very particular about his hair. He always carried a comb in his pocket. One Sunday, maybe 7 or 8 years ago, after church were eating lunch at their house. We were done eating but all sitting around the table talking. My grandma was in the middle of telling my dad something, when my grandpa went over to her, got his comb out, and started combing her hair lol. The funniest part of this is that she didn’t even seem to notice, she just kept on talking. My sister and I were just cracking up about that one! He was not only concerned with his own hair but hers as well. I guess he thought it needed some grooming. ;)
~ I remember at my cousin’s wedding, my grandparents were sitting in back of me and my family. And after my cousin walked down the aisle and the minister said for her to take her fiancés hand, through the corner of my eye I saw my grandparents right at that moment scoot closer together and take each others hand. Something about that simple action, which seemed so natural, stole my heart. And I thought that was a memory I would recall forever. I had always meant to tell my cousin about this but for some reason kept forgetting. When I finally told her about year ago it made her tear up a little. You just can’t help but be touched by the idea that love really can last – they were a good example of this, and it gives me so much hope.
~ Towards the end of his life, he started telling us so many stories about what it was like for him growing up, about his dad, traveling around and playing music in his band, and meeting and marrying my grandma. I remember being enamored by all his stories. I loved hearing them. I wish I could remember all of them but I’m thankful that he took the time out to share that with us.
These are just a few of the special stories of my grandpa and grandma. I didn’t even plan on saying this much but there’s so much to tell. There’s so much to be treasured. I’m blessed that I have a enough good memories of both of them to last me a lifetime. I was blessed to have both of them in my life. I learned so much from them and I’m very proud to be their granddaughter.
(Photo of my grandpa’s guitar which he gave me when I started playing at 15)
(My grandpa playing the saxophone in church)
(My grandparents at my aunts house)
(*Note - The photo at the top of the blog is a sketch that a street artist drew of my grandpa when he was young.)
Below is the lyric I wrote the day after he passed away. It was read by my dad at his funeral.
See You On The Other Side (Grandpa’s Song)
Grandpa, how do you say goodbye to someone who would dance to make you laugh and hold you when you cry? Grandpa, I already miss you so much. I will always remember your beautiful smile and your warm hugs. Grandpa, I just don’t know how to let you go. When you were here time went too fast, now it’s too slow.
Someday we’ll be together, when the saints go marching in, we’ll see each other again. In a place where there will be no more death and no more pain. Together forever as we walk the golden lane. Though now far apart love can never be severed, oh this goodbye isn’t made to last forever.
Grandpa, I remember when the smell of coffee and the sound of your saxophone is how my days would begin. Grandpa, no matter how many years pass I’ll never forget the sound of your sweet laugh. Holding my hand as you walked me home from school. Just one of the many memories I’ll always hold of you. A heritage passed on to me, through lessons and special stories.
One bright summer day, you decided to take your last breath and fly away. I didn’t want to let you go. But during the peaceful blue and pink evening sky, I accepted it was time, time to say goodbye. But through my tears I realized it’s not goodbye, it’s just see you later … on the other side.
(Repeat Chorus 2x)
I love you grandpa but just one question before you go, what do you think of heaven and your new beautiful, white robe?
© Krystal Celeste