In memory of my Portuguese grandpa.

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My grandpa passed away last week. I spent the weekend down South at the funeral. It was bitter sweet since he had been bedridden for two years. It makes me happy that he's whole again and in a better place. I'll miss him though. He was a veteran who served in the army during wartime. He was a delightful Portuguese gentleman who was very proud of his history. He always reminded me of an animated marionette doll because he always spoke with such grand gestures. He was so proud of his home here in America. It was the most ordinary of homes, but he talked about it as if it were a castle. He'd ask me, "Jennifer, is your home as beautiful as this?" And he'd wave his hands around as if to illuminate all of its splendor. He was also a very beautiful looking gentleman who spoke with a lovely Portuguese accent. I used to go to his home and he would hand me a dictionary and ask me to quiz him on any word between letters A through G. He would get so excited to show off his knowledge. He would tell me the definition and then use it in a sentence all with a very Portuguese elocution. Funny thing is that it was often a bit off in the usage category, but I would never tell him that. Why ruin his great fun. He and my grandmother always had people from all walks of life in their home. They loved everyone equally and felt at home in a melting pot. And I cannot forget what a wonderful musician he was throughout his lifetime. He played the piano, organ, clarinet, guitar, and best of all the SAXOPHONE. He was a devoted student until my grandmother passed away two years ago. He was in a bed within a month of her death, and he never left it until his own death. Now, he's free, with Jesus and my grandmother. In life he studied world history, now he'll study the history of the heavens. I'll miss him. He was born January 1, 1918 and went home on February 9, 2006.
 
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Thanks for sharing a tribute to a great man. His final gift to you was teaching you his love of life. How lucky you were to have him in your life, and how lucky you are to have his memory in your heart.

I am sure he was and is very proud of his grand daughter.

Ren
 
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Awwwww, how sad!! What a wonderful man your Grandpa was!! I am sorry from the bottom of my heart for your loss!! Thank you so much for sharing about your Grandpa!! This must be a very difficult loss for you!! I am glad that he is with his wife and whole & happy again!! God blees you!!
 
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Thanks guys.

I was always amazed by his spirit. He was so proud and full of life. I had a really tough time seeing him after my grandmother died. I think she took his spirit with her. They were reunited again before Valentine's day. :)
 
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Jennifer,
my condolences on the loss of your grandfather.
I am sure that among his accomplishments (many) he would have listed family and the pleasure that he derived from you as primary. Nothing in life gives pleasure and pride like the accomplishments of our children and, I am sure, grandchildren. I am sure that you made him very happy.
 
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Sorry for your loss, great to hear that your grandfather really enjoyed life. My grandfather was much the same, a very intelligent, modest man that had lots of love for his family. I picked up much of his bad habits, I hope that I pick up at least some of his good ones.

I love to travel, sometimes, if I get to work early, when I leave I might travel 200 miles round trip, just for the hell of it. My grandfather was much the same, but he was usually visiting family on his long excursions. I wish I would have spent more time with him.
 
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What a lovely story. Thanks for sharing it. While it's sad when the old people go, consider how lucky you are to have shared a good portion of your own life with them.
 
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A beautiful story! You were blessed to have had him in your life. I'm sorry for your loss.
 
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I am sorry for your loss, I hope that he will live forever in your memory and in the memory of your children.
 
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My condolences on the loss of your Grandfather.

He sounds like a truly fascinating Gentleman! As you cherish his memory, please chronicle his life for the future generations of your family. The details of his life and how he lived will be a source of immeasurable pride.

He reminds me a bit of my Grandfather, a poor Italian immigrant who made a good life for himself, and his family. Not rich in wealth, but rich in life. He passed away 18 years ago.
 
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Jennifer, I have posted about this gentleman before, but I shall again. His name was Aristides de Sousa Mendes. What the article below does not say is that Spain, just finished its Civil War and with Franco and his Falangists in power, would not allow anyone to enter unless they had a valid Portuguese visa. One of those visas was issued to may father, who had been studying French at the Sorbonne during the academic year 1939/1940 so that he could teach it at West Point. He had remained behind when my mother and brother were evacuated in April, 1940, to assist the US Embassy with the crush of people seeking visas to the USA. He then had to evacuate from Paris to Bordeaux and his visa into Portugal was issued by the Bordeaux consulate. Fortunately, the Spanish Guardia Civil officer did not challenge him since he had a red, or diplomatic, passport, nor did the Portuguese border authorities. But it could have been hairy, as the Portuguese government not only recalled de Sousa Mendes but invalidated all of his passports.

The Portuguese consul-general in Bordeaux, France, Aristides de Sousa
Mendes, issued 30,000 visas in June 1940, including 10,000 to Jews. He lost
his job and all his property and died in poverty in Lisbon in 1954.

His youngest son, John Paul Abranches, said at the exhibit's opening
ceremony that his father was simply following his conscience.

"My father did what he did because, as he said, 'I'd rather be with God
against man than with man against God.' And that meant that the instructions
that he had were immoral, inhumane, and he would not comply with them. So he did what a voice told him to do. And that was to save the refugees, anyone and all of them, or as many as possible."
From http://b-info.com/tools/miva/newsview.mv?url=news/2000-04/text/apr21a.rfe

I post this because Ken Cox has said that he found it a meaningful story for his children who have Portuguese grandparents and I thought that you might find it meaningful as well.

My prayers are with you in this time and I hope that you will be seeing happier times soon. My wife is going through a similar time with her mother.
 
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Your Grandparents sound like wonderful people, Ms. Matos. It's unfortunate in one way, his passing I mean, but in another, a new life for him with his wife.

Your post would have made a wonderful eulogy. It brought tears to my eyes.
 
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Nov 28, 1999
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J, may the heavens rain success on you and yours, that was a very touching story and got me to think about some of my grandparents and great grandparents accomplishments which are paled in contrast to your grandfather's....
 
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thank you for sharing--sounds like a very great man--you were very lucky to have him in your like and i'm sure he felt the same having you in his
 
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I'll miss him. He was born January 1 said:
Dear lady, you are most fortunate . Sadly,today grandkids have their own agenda & only visit on holidays .Our society is changing but not for the good. Some years a young friend's grandmother died some distance away & I,as a friend,offered to drive her to the funeral . " I'm not going. She was just an old woman that died " !

I was speechless !

God bless you for loving,caring & sharing this with us.

Uncle Alan
 
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uncle Alan said:
I,as a friend,offered to drive her to the funeral . " I'm not going. She was just an old woman that died " !

I was speechless !

Uncle Alan


Someday this selfish young lady will be 80 years old and hopefully alone...and I hope she gags on those words...what a bitch..:mad:
 
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Jan 7, 2003
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My condolences as well. Such a beautiful life this is; to be blessed by wonderful and loving people even if only for awhile.
 
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Oh Jennifer does it ever sound like your grandpa really loved you. And you certainly loved him. You know he is in Heaven and so glad to be with your grandma and his family that were waiting on him. I think it's the quieted voice you hear no more that hurts the worse but only to know he'll be standing on that "Golden Shore" when you get there yourself. I plant a tree for anyone I have lost and would you believe I have a tree that is called "Grandpa Tree". I can send you a clipping after I have gotten it to root this summer?! (It's actually called a grandpa tree)
 
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