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A few days ago I'd heard that my paternal grandfather, Gramps, was diagnosed with Lymphoma and was going to have some tests done to see what treatment was required. Today I woke up and found out via email that he had died. I gather that it wasn't terribly unexpected to those around him, but it took me by surprise.

He lived to be eighty-eight, which was probably a good decade over his life expectancy. When I last saw him around a year ago, he had definitely slowed down, but still had a good quality of life. I visited him and my grandmother in Palm Springs, where they were spending the winter with my aunt and uncle. He had five kids, tons of grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and had a good relationship with every one of them. He had a very good life, probably died with few if any regrets, and left all of us better off.

While there's some sadness that I'll never get to see him again, mostly I feel happy that he did have such a good life, and I feel grateful for his influence on me. In that spirit, I thought I'd share a few little stories.

As a kid, my favorite time of the year was summer, specifically the couple weeks I'd get to spend with my grandparents out in rural Vermont. My three siblings and at least six of my cousins would all come visit at the same time. By any measure I had a lot of freedom and independence as a kid, but Vermont was the pinnacle.

Sometimes I Really Miss Being A Child

On Sara Alina

Sometimes I really miss being a child. No cares, no worries.

My favorite thing to do as a kid was going down to the river and playing in the freezing cold water. I loved nature more than anything.

I used to run outside at night when my parents were asleep, especially when my friends were over.

When I was about seven years old, my friend and I ran down to the river, collected all the frogs that we could find, because we thought that they were cold, we brought them inside, and locked them in the kitchen. We then went to sleep thinking nothing of it. In the morning I heard my mom enter the kitchen, she was not happy and very confused……………….. haha, kids.

- Love Sara Alina

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