December 3, 2017, Donald Charles Anderson, veteran, son, brother, father, uncle, grandfather, great-grandfather, and friend, went to heaven after battling lung cancer off and on for the past 10 years. We all knew that the time would be soon, but nothing can prepare you for the loss of a loved one. Absolutely nothing.
I wish I could have made it to the hospital to see him before he passed away, and I wish I could have gathered the strength at the viewing to have shared a memory with the crowd.
He was a family man. He loved his wife, 6 children, 17 grandchildren, and 3 great-grandchildren. He never failed to instill it within each and every one of us that family comes first. Back when my mom, aunt, and four uncles were kids, he worked two jobs and came home afterward to coach Little League, attend wrestling matches, football games, etc.; You name it, he was there. I can confidently speak for my family and say that he was the full package. He was loving, devoted, hardworking, spirited, humorous, and smart! I cannot stress enough how intelligent he was. His mind was sharp up until his very last moments.
My grandfather took me as his own daughter when my father left me. He helped raise me, and will forever hold a special place in my heart. He was the type of man that would do anything he could to help. The love he exhibited for who he would always refer to as “His Bride” was pure and real. He didn’t let a day go by without saying “I love you” to her. He was always thinking about everyone else, even when he was sick in the hospital. I can only hope that someday I will raise the kind of family that he has, because this family is one of a kind, just like he was. His humor, his amazing stories about traveling, his advice, and his support and encouragement will never be forgotten. The memories I have shared with him are indeed special in so many ways.
I remember when I was about 6 or 7 years old I would always sing at the top of the staircase, and he would call me a star even though I couldn’t sing for the life of me.
Before I left for school every day he would stuff newspapers in my backpack so when I opened it to take out my lunch they would all fall out.
When I was a little girl and I would go with him to the store, he would always let me pick out a pack of gum.
He would always freak me out by popping out his dentures when I least expected it.
He did his crossword puzzles every day with a pencil that had been sharpened way too many times.
I will always remember him as the man sipping black coffee out of his train mug who wore the faded blue jeans with his flannel, suspenders and L.L. Bean slippers.
On his 86th birthday, which was just last month, I said to him, “Wow, the big 86 this year Pop!” and he said, “Yeah, I might be old in age but I’m young at heart.”
He was seriously the best. Every time I called home from college and he answered, he would always ask if everything was alright. He cared so much and I am forever thankful for a grandfather who loved me the way he did. What I would do to have one last conversation with him. I’ll always be your little girl.
Until we meet again, my beautiful guardian angel.