Saturday, March 6, 2010

In Memory of Ben Ballard

It has been a hard and emotional couple of days at my house. My Grandpa Ballard whom I adore and idolize just passed away today, Saturday, March 6, 2010 around 12:30 P.M.. We all knew it was coming anytime now, but for some reason when I got the actual call I took it a lot harder than I expected. I am not a pretty site right now with my puffy red eyes, runny nose, and nonstop crying. He was a very special man to me and my extended family.
Grandpa just celebrated his 96th birthday on February 13th. His health has been declining the past few years and since my grandmother passed away in September of 2008, he lost his reason to live. He missed her very much. It has been very hard to have him live so far away in Oregon where I couldn't be there for him or visit him.
Since we have always lived far away from my grandparents, it was always a very special event to visit them. Ask any of my siblings and I bet everyone of them would say their favorite memories growing up were the trips to Oregon to see Grandma and Grandpa Ballard. Their house holds many special memories, and once in a while I will smell a certain smell and it will bring me back to their house. I've never had an emotional connection to anywhere except my grandparents house (I don't even feel a connection to the house I grew up in, or the current house I live in that I have spent so much time and money fixing up). It was a really hard thing to have my grandparents moved out of their house.
Some of my best memories of Grandpa include working in his wood shop (especially the smell of the wood and tools); his organized office with all the little drawers of nuts, bolts, and nails; tasting his fresh apple juice made from apples in his garden from his apple press; trips to the Oregon coast where he and Grandma would help us write our names in the sand, find smooth rocks, and search the tide pools for sea creatures and special treasures; eating fresh clam chowder; finding garden snakes in the ivy and moss; driving the riding lawn mower/tractor; helping Grandpa in his forest or perfectly manicured garden; sitting on his lap as a young girl and watching Laurence Welk, Old Yeller, or where the Red Fern grows; eating his homemade bread; and many, many, more.
My Grandpa adored my Grandmother. They were married for almost 75 years and spent every moment together. My Grandmother always made homemade bread for Grandpa their whole marriage. Once Grandma had a stroke and couldn't really cook much anymore, Grandpa took over and made the homemade bread until they moved into the retirement center a little over 2 years ago. Their marriage and love was a great example to everyone.
I know Grandpa has been missing Grandma very much the past few years. Though his death brought an end to a great legacy and era, I know he is finally with his Sweetheart again and it is a joyous reunion!
We Miss You Grandpa. We love you.


Christina said...

So sorry to hear this. Losing my grandma was one of the hardest things for me too.

Kristin said...

So sorry. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.