*29th of September, 1934
+24th of May, 2013
You were here but now gone,
just like that, without words,
while your sleep was constantly interrupted
and wanted to have breakfast.
We telephoned just the night before
and I had the impression you were getting a bit better.
It was also just as Mary said.
You were still pleasant company
in the evening and you seemed comfortable.
I never would have thought
that I would have written this so soon.
You wanted to watch the Champions League
football game Dortmund Vs Bayern Munich.
The recently started chemotherapy gave you some comfort.
You know, fought quietly, bravely and patiently.
The sap of life was bitter for many years, full of worries.
Your veins could no longer sustain your strength.
The emergency doctor could get you to the hospital to Hamm,
You would have preferred to stay at home.
Grandma and Grandpa, certainly also Gisela, were already in the room,
to pick you up on the way to eternity.
But it doesn't matter now; the doctor may not know it.
And the path from Hamm to Heaven
is no more than from here to there.
We all knew that you were leaving us and it was well
there were Angels to accompany you.
You now have no more fear, no more worries nor pain
come back as a reminder and an idea to us.
As a child you were the fastest runner in school
and therefore had the nickname "Bunny".
You learned to swim in the Rhine River
and your first car was a WV Beetle.
Your career aspirations of being a football player did not work out,
you initially followed in your grandfather's footsteps
you learned carpentry, and after many years of experience
conducted and consulted with large furniture companies.
You've worked with a lot of love in your live and accomplished a lot.
Your dad, my grandpa was in the war, and came back safely.
You led your little war against leeks, onions and garlic,
as a child dislike cod liver oil, the taste you never forgot.
The second theatre of war was recognizing and accepting
the heavy burden of understanding the painful disease
of a loved one,
not painful for the ill but painful for the onlookers.
Followed by disappointments of some "so-called" friends.
Who would have ever endured so long, without an understanding
of this very hard to understand issue? Many who pushed you into loneliness
you have forgiven. How big you were to have done that!
You knew that award to forgive mean to no longer hope for a better past.
In our hearts, you were always a strong place
even if your nagging was sometimes stressful.
You were always there when we needed you.
How glad you were
when your grandchildren were born!
First Mila, then Lynn.
How happy you were as they seem to grow with each visit.
How happy you were to have your "offspring" around you.
How happy you were when you were first warmly received
by Gisela in Rixbeck, and then additionally by Maria in Oelde.
How your eyes shone, when people signed up for a visit
or have called unexpectedly.
How many times have you laughed along when you realized that you
from your family were taken from spontaneous puns on the arm.
How sad you were when you were alone again at home.
The memories of past hopes were heavy.
The expectant look on the telephone was often disappointed.
Helplessly exposed and injured by unauthorized charges.
Gisela passed too early to enjoy good long years of harmony
but she died with dignity in your company,
however, your new island was called "Mary".
We are both, in recent years, but Mary was immensely grateful
for their love and help in all areas.
You've had a taste of home, and found peace again.
You've given your all and a meaning and purpose with each other.
Granted, sometimes you could at observing your togetherness
the loving care of the garden, in the kitchen, the mutual care
for not suppress a benevolent smile. There was something reminiscent
of the famous German comedian "Loriot", and we miss it already.
Mary, you and all have done very well,
of course, and remains also the grandma of Lynn and Mila.
All who really came to know you
knew that you were a loving and kind person.
"Too good for this world," they say.
You had an understanding of the problems of others,
and always helped to find solutions.
In the company you had a good rapport with your staff,
"interpersonal skills" it is called today. You cared for them in
the Company, as well with private issues. How often sometimes
unannounced colleagues were at the door seeking your advise.
They knew you were reliable and often had a helpful tip.
No wonder they had you baptized with the nickname "Holy Father".
You've traveled, back and forth across and around Germany,
even on your bike along the Danube from Passau to Vienna,
ancient Greece, Israel and the pyramids you wanted to see - the desire was met.
For your last trip you do not need a visa.
By now you've arrived and now looking at the world from above,
like you did when you were here. How many times you had solutions
worked out before people acknowledged there was a problem.
Several times a week your voice was on my answering machine.
You always started your voicemail "Hello, this is Papa."
Your number never appears on the display of my phone anymore.
I hope your voice will remain in my memory.
All our time is borrowed. You knew this.
You were still working hard in cleaning up and clearing out.
Your notepad with your relatively fresh notes is still on the coffee table.
There are moments when it seems as if the earth is silent for a moment
and you can feel that grief is the price we pay to feel love.
Papa, we let you go now and can reach you without phone or stamp in future.
No idea when, but we will meet again.
Yes, you're right; you would now say "Well, come to the point".
Lynn and Mila know that it is a little brighter now in Heaven.
It has taken me awhile to bring myself to this point:
"Grandpa is now a star!"