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 I might seem a bit more loopy...my Grandfather passed away

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EricHaven
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PostSubject: I might seem a bit more loopy...my Grandfather passed away   Tue Jun 16, 2009 2:07 pm

I wasn't going to post this news, since none of you knew him, and I didn't want to throw out anything depressing. But since I consider all of you guys my friends, my Spirit caved-in, and maybe talking about it will be good for me.

My Grandfather was Edward Branner Haven, and he passed away the morning of June 13th at the age of 91. He was a man of unparalleled integrity, morals, strength, ethics, and humor. To say he was quite a character would be putting it very mildly. He lost his mother the the flu epidemic of the 1900's when he was only two years old, and his father sent him to live with his mother's parents. If he had stayed with his dad, I would actually be a Branner instead of a Haven. My Grandfather grew up learning to raise cows, developed a beautiful tenor voice that later served him as choir director for a Methodist church he went to, and he also learned the carpentry trade. He later attended US Davis to study agriculture.

In 1962, he and my Grandmother built a gorgeous 16-acre apple farm in the Sierra Foothills about an hour west of Lake Tahoe, and I have a lifetime of wonderful memories of spending time with them there. They farmed about 2,000 semi-dwarf trees consisting of several different varieties of apples, rhododendrons, roses, and even had catfish in the three-acre pond at the bottom of the orchard.

My Dad passed away in July of 2002, and my Grandmother passed away almost exactly two years later. So now, I like to think that somewhere in that great mystery of the Everafter, that they are all together again.

It get's better as time goes on, but every so often I get a terrible stabbing in my heart. I mean, I have lost a LOT of relatives and friends over the years, but it never makes it any easier.

This is me with my Grandma and Grandpa taken back in 1997 on their place in the Sierra's.



Rest in peace, Grandpa. You, Grandma, and Dad have all earned the rest, and I'll see you on the Other Side.

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Darkstrike



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PostSubject: Re: I might seem a bit more loopy...my Grandfather passed away   Tue Jun 16, 2009 2:11 pm

You have my sympathies man.


Sounds like he had a long, full, and interesting life.
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amimbari

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PostSubject: Re: I might seem a bit more loopy...my Grandfather passed away   Tue Jun 16, 2009 5:40 pm

as the posts come in, let me be #2 to say from all of us over here who have gone thru the same thing over the years, it always hurts especially looking at anything that brings back the good times. Our family has had to go thru the same things with many older relatives and inner family members thru the years, but your right .... Heaven HAS to be better than what this world has to offer, young or old, and for us, the traditional Jewish 7 day inner family mourning period is supposed to be followed by a gathering of relatives to celebrate the good times as a way to represent the entrance to GODS better world.
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Kugelspot

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PostSubject: Re: I might seem a bit more loopy...my Grandfather passed away   Wed Jun 17, 2009 10:14 am

Sorry to hear that man. He sounds like a great guy. Like Darkstrike said, he lived a full life.
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PostSubject: Re: I might seem a bit more loopy...my Grandfather passed away   Wed Jun 17, 2009 12:26 pm

My condolences. He lived a long life so I'm sure he had lots of good memories of being a part of a great family. Both my parents are gone and I never met my grandfathers, you're very lucky to have gotten that opportunity.
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EricHaven
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PostSubject: Re: I might seem a bit more loopy...my Grandfather passed away   Thu Jun 18, 2009 9:09 pm

Thank you, my friends. This experience has been so very much more difficult than I could have ever imagined it would be, even though we all knew that the time was near.

My Grandfather was a man of amazing strength and character, who held the very highest of morals and standards in everything that he did. He was, in a word, genuine. You knew exactly what you were getting with him, and he never played games or was ever deceptive in any way to anyone. He also had an amazing sense of humor, and a deep love for his family.

I got much of my love and appreciation for music from him, my Grandmother, and my Dad (and my Mom as well, for that matter). I already mentioned that my Grandfather sang tenor as a younger man, and he was choir director for a Methodist church that he and my Grandmother attended. He also played a little guitar, and I have some wonderful memories of him sitting at the kitchen table, strumming lightly, and his voice crackling with age, but you could still hear the voice behind the age. In fact, he has a 78" of him performing live during a church service from the 1940's, and one of my objectives is to take that recording, and have it digitized.

When my Grandmother had a stroke in 2001, she was first taken to a medical facility nearby. But to my Grandfather's credit, within three weeks she was back at home. He said simply: "I will not have her rot in some hospital bed alone. This is her home, and I will take care of her." My aunt also came up from southern California, and lived with them to help take care of her. My Grandmother died in July of 2004, in her sleep, in her own bed, next to my Grandfather.

To add to all of this, his son, my Dad, passed away in July of 2002.

The experience took an enourmous toll on my Grandfather's health. They were both in their late 80's when this happened, and for as strong as my Grandfather was, it really clobbered him. And of course, the loss of his lifelong spouse, and his only son, took a toll on his heart.

His eyesight and hearing began to fail shortly afterwards, and he was also starting to have trouble keeping his balance. He was not permitted to drive any longer, and he suffered some accidents and falls that did not heal. My aunt once again, along with my uncle, moved in to take care of him. And over the course of the two years they were there, his kidneys failed, he developed dementia, paralysis on his left side, and blindess in one eye. He finally got to the point where he couldn't walk, would hardly eat, couldn't speak properly, and became completely dependant for every basic need. In his lucid moments, this tore at him greatly, since he had always been an independant soul who took care of everything himself.

When he did finally go, it was in his own home, in his own bed, in his sleep.

So we all knew that the end was near, and we would all be grateful when he no longer had to suffer what must have been an awful existence. But this does little to heal the hole in my heart.

So I will say one more thing to all of you while on my little soapbox here. If you have loved ones, let them know it now. Don't wait for "someday", because "someday" might not ever come. I am extremely lucky that the very last things I ever said to my Dad, my Grandmother, and my Grandfather were "I love you". And to know that they loved me as well means the world to me. So if you love someone, let them know it while you still have them around to say the words.

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