February 21, 1926 - February 16, 2012
Grandparents Prayer by Pope Benedict XVI
Look with love on Grandparents the world over
Protect them! They are a source of enrichment for families,
For the church and for all of society
Support them! As they grow older may they continue to be for their families strong pillars of gospel faith,
Guardian of noble domestic ideals,
Living treasures of sound traditions.
Make them teachers of wisdom and courage. That they pas onto future generations the fruits of their mature human and spiritual experience.
A grandfather represents someone who stands as a pillar of strength and wisom in any family. My grandfather, Charles Hagen, was just that. He was our pillar of knowledge and strength. He was a man who lived a very full life and even though it is near impossible to give every great thing he has done or seen in his life in the short eulogy, I will do my best to convey the man I knew and loved.
I have so many memories of Pa from over the years. I remember being little and going to visit in Ohio.
There was always a rope swing set up on the tree that I looked forward too all summer and nothing was better than riding the riding lawn mower across their huge lawn.
One year for Christmas when I was about six Pa gave me a stuffed bear, I slept with the bear every night up until I moved in with my husband. I still have the bear today, even though he is a little worn and beat up he always makes me think of Pa.
He had a love for all things sweets, in his words – dessert just slides down, and trust me when I say that is something he definitely passed on to me.
Pa always seemed the happiest when was family was around, he knew how to use his sense of humor and charm to cheer up the bluest of days.
Pa lived during a time that was arguable one of the best times to be alive, simply because of all of the history that has taken place over the past 85 years. He witnessed the great depressions, world war II, the cold war, the civil rights movement and Martin Luther King Jr., he saw JFK as president and then sadly the assignation of JFK. Pa was around of some of the greatest bands of all times, witnessed the 80’s, then invention of the computer and internet and SO much more.
And, while all of these things were taking place around the world. Pa was creating his own legacy and living a life so full and so far greater than I could ever imagine.
Pa is a veteran of World War II in which he served in the navy shortly after high school. In 1947 he married the love of his life and together they spent he next 64 years inseparable. Together they raised three children, he watched his children grown and celebrated each of their milestones and their lives with them. He survived natural disasters in which he rebuilt him home after it was destroyed by a tornado.
He had the ability to see his grandchildren grow up and marry. And after had lived enough life for three men he was able to retire in Sunny California with his loving wife and spend his days gardening, reading, and relaxing close to family.
My husband found this quote titled lessons from a grandfather last night and I think it fits Pa perfectly as he was always so happy.
"Laugh when you can,
apologize when you should,
and let go of what you can't change.
Life's too short to be anything... but happy."
No matter what obstacles came up, whether it be wars, natural disasters, every day troubles of even health, nothing seemed to get him down. Pa was a great man, he was our pillar of strength in every way, he was always there to cheer us up and give us guidance when needed, or to share a piece of candy. He was the best grandfather a girl could ask for and I would consider myself lucky if I accomplished half of what he did in his lifetime in mine.