However, sad and miserable these things were to him, he never gave in to bitterness or resentment or "woe is me." He carried on strong and steady in his faith, in his hobbies, and in his relationships with his family and friends. He brought humor and lightheartedness to most every situation. He remained a lifelong learner and pursuer of knowledge. He loved crossword puzzles and intellectual conversation. Every gift I have received from him in the past few years has been a book on some intriguing and mind-growing topic. He cared about his family deeply and always obliged his granddaughter's (six of us) requests for pictures and dancing. He lived his entire married life answering to the name "Cow" because in my grandmother's thick Portuguese accent she could not, for the life of her, pronounce the "r" in his name to say Carl. He was devoted, kind, patient, enduring, steadfast, thoughtful, and in all things, practical.
A month ago, he chose to accept Hospice care. He did this with full mental capacity and a readiness to "let nature take its course." He humorously referred to his death and this final stage of his life as "his project" and would routinely ask the hospice staff, "how am I doing on my project?" Well, his project is complete now and his family is left to continue on this journey of life without him. As my dad said, "He set the bar very high for us to follow in our own lives and our gratitude for his presence in our lives is boundless. We firmly believe that he will soon be with his wife and, more importantly, with God. We are firm in our conviction that death is not a finality but a stepping from one plane of existence to another, much better one."
Thank you Vovo. I love you.