Tuesday, 10/9/12, 11:00 p.m. - I write for a living, so why not turn to writing to help in the grief process.
So, here's the story of "The Sensitive Man Who Spoke His Mind."
Don't expect to be coddled. My Grandpa told it like he saw it.
When we did or said something stupid, he let us have it.
In his 80 years, he accomplished something that I, and many of us will never do: celebrate a 63rd wedding anniversary.
But Grandpa was much more than a loving husband who married his high school sweetheart. A man who worked his tail off as a farmer for decades, so his sons had food on the table. A man who helped raise four boys, and was there to see the arrival of 14 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
The latter sentence is the one in which he took the most pride.
His catch phrase among the family was, "Gosh, dang it!" (well, that wasn't really his catch phrase. It's just the G-version). He was sharp enough to notice when any of us gained weight, or had a zit (and he'd let us know).
But he was also the person who quietly had pride in his kids and grandkids. The handkerchief was never too far away to wipe off the tears.
The person who moved him to tears, rarely saw the handkerchief come out of his pocket. He or she only heard about it. But we knew we made him tear up with pride.
I don't mean to sound selfish here. I'm sharing my grief with 13 other grandchildren. I remember when he told a waitress, "Watch the news at 10:27, and you'll see his name across the screen." Or when I won an award in college. The stage was close to my seat, and I made it back with a plaque before Grandpa was done crying with pride. I recall when my sister had the lead in a high school musical. She started singing a solo, and my face resembled Niagara Falls. Embarassed, I looked to the right, and Grandpa was just as teary.
It's not just me. Those tears fell when Shane fathered Grandpa's first great-grandchild, or when he crossed the stage. When Nate got his diploma or named his great-grandchild Ada Lyn Jane after Grandma. Tears fell when Justin delivered his graduation speech. When Kate ("the smart one") made another awesome accomplishment trailblazing in her field. When Holly got her masters degree. When Chuck, Holly, David Jr. Scott Jr., and Jessi got their diplomas. To the youngsters - Cameron and Mikaila - there were tears for you, too! In trademark Dusett fashion, my cousin Luke had to show us all up with a great-grandchild on Grandma and Grandpa's 63rd anniversary. Thanks for showing us all up, Luke!
Grandpa met a lot to a lot of us. I know he is at peace and out of pain.
My only fear: I keep hearing the rock that is my father saying, "He's gone." It was hard to hear once, and I hate that I keep hearing it.
I love you, Dad.
We all love and miss you, Grandpa.
~Jason Dusett, Coordinating Evening Producer