Yesterday my husband's grandfather passed away. There wasn't a single moment from the first time I met him that I didn't feel like he was my grandpa too. These two people sure knew how to love and I am forever grateful to have been a part of that for the last 17 years.
Below are the words that my husband shared on Facebook. Although you may not have known Harris Albright, I still wanted you to hear these words.
Today I lost my last living grandparent, my grandfather Harris 'HB' Albright. I know most of you never knew him but for those who did and those who didn't these are 5 things I leaned from him by the way he lived his life.
1. To be loyal
His working life was spent as a personal aide to Howard Hughes. I would have loved to have learned more of his personal stories about his experiences during those years with him. One time a few years ago after watching the DiCaprio biopic I tried and tried to get him to tell me about the oddities and obsessive compulsive nature of his former boss but he refused to besmirch the man. He said the only thing he knew "Mr. Hughes" to obsess over was reduced drag and sustained airflow.
Further evidence of loyalty was that he was a lifetime Kansas City Royals and Chiefs fan. That kind of loyalty is not for sissy's.
2. To finish what you start
He always had a project he was working on and he remained focused on it until it was done. He took breaks to eat and sleep or to help grandma - not because he thought he deserved the rest.
3. To not lower expectations
You never wanted to be caught standing with your hands in your pockets or looking too comfortable on the couch when grandpa was working on a project. He always had a job for you. He didn't discriminate on the type of job he gave you just because you were 5-years-old either. He simply told you he needed you to do 'x' and to let him know when you were done. He didn't give you directions but expected you to find the way to get it done and to continue to work on it until you did it right.
4. To show up
I played a lot of baseball from Junior High to Junior College in some very hot Arizona summers. I do not recall a single game grandma and grandpa missed. Like clock work 15 minutes before every game I saw the two of them walk up to the field. Grandpa always carried both lawn chairs, a red cooler and their umbrella. Grandma would always wave even though she knew I had to be focused on the preparation for the game. Today I wish I would have at least tipped my cap to them.
5. To wholly love
The love I felt from my grandfather and grandmother were one and the same. Not individual but exponential. The individual memories of them are few - they did so little apart. Mark Twain once wrote about Adams' Eve that, "wheresoever she was, there was Eden." There lives were no more a paradise than any of ours but they were the greatest examples of what it means to be a help-meet to one another.
To me they will always be standing together at their front door arm in arm continually waving goodbye even as their images grew smaller and smaller in your rear view window. Today, I know they are together again. They were never meant to be apart. My faith and soul reminds me that families are eternal. We will be with and love those we have lost again. What sweet reunions must be happening.