I would like to tell you about one of my favorite people in the entire world - my Grandpa. Grandpa Walz is the grandpa that everyone wishes they had. Everyone. He hugs us tight when we come to visit, and hugs us even tighter before we leave. He never fails to say I love you. Never. You always know you are special when you visit Grandpa.
We grew up going out to his ranch on weekends. We woke up early and he always had chocolate gem donuts waiting because he knew they were my favorite. I will never look at one of those without thinking of him. We'd spend time fishing in his ponds and while we fished, he spent his time untangling us from rocks and trees and anything else we could get stuck in. He never fished much himself when we were there, but he loved every minute of it and made sure to tell us so. He taught us how to drive in his pick-up and jeep out in the pastures. A very brave man. He woke us up in the middle of the night when we were young to try to see Hailey’s Comet. I’m still not sure if I saw it, but it was exciting just the same. I remember it was cold and we got to put on his giant sweatshirt for the ride up into the pastures to gaze at the stars. He took us on shopping sprees and went river rafting with us long past the age he probably should have been rafting. He never missed a great-grandchild's birthday party and even tolerated wearing silly hats and scarves at one of their dress-up parties. Despite being in his 80's, he still got down on the floor to build houses and castles out of blocks with my children. An image I will never forget.
Grandpa helped all of us financially - sending us to college, helping us with our first cars, first houses, graduations, births of our children and everything in between. He has always been a man who gave to everyone because he loved us all so much. He has been there for every major milestone in our lives. And we are better because of him.
He’s taught us how to love and show love. He’s taught us that it’s not what we know but who we know that often matters because people are really what matter in life. Relationships matter. He’s taught us that K-State Wildcats are #1, and told us countless times he’d throw us in the pond for supporting KU. But we all know he’d love us just the same even if we became Jayhawks. None of us have.
Tomorrow, my Grandpa is choosing to go back home and have hospice take care of him until God calls him up to heaven. It breaks my heart and at the same time I am forever thankful that we know he has accepted Jesus into his heart and we will see him again in Heaven. I can’t imagine a heaven without him. We’ve been blessed with the last few weeks being able to take the time to tell him we love him and show him how much he has meant to us. He is truly the most amazing grandpa anyone could ever ask for. It is unbearably difficult to imagine saying goodbye to him. But I know how much he loves us. I’ve never had to wonder about that. He left nothing unsaid. He always hugged us tight and said I love you. I’m hoping everyone has someone in their lives like him.
I’m asking for prayers for my family during this time. It’s so hard to say good bye to someone you have loved your entire life. But I am forever thankful for all the amazing memories we have. God has blessed us by putting Grandpa in our lives and I can’t wait to see him again in heaven. We love you so much Grandpa! Love, Mary