Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Remembering Grandpa Dan

 July 10, 2012, my Grandpa, Daniel Straup Mays, passed away. Per his wishes, Grandpa opted out of a traditional burial (in terms that I'm familiar with anyway). Instead, his body was cremated. Two weekends ago, I was able to join members of my family in Saint George to mourn his passing and remember his life.

 (May 2012, my last visit with Grandpa)

My Grandpa loved to travel and he loved nature. My Dad fondly remembers the many vacations that my Grandpa took him on throughout his childhood. I expect it's fair to say that of all the places he saw, the stunning red rock country that enriches Southern Utah was among his favorite places to be.

My Dad's mother, Marie Ford Mays, passed away September 7, 1983. My  Mom was pregnant with me at the time. When I was small, Grandpa remarried my Grandma Katie. Together, they moved to St. George and settled into a tight knit community called Kayenta. Here, they lived out the rest of his life. From camping trailers to a motor home, the two of them (plus a dog) carried on Grandpa's passion for exploration. I have happy memories of visiting the pair of them as a child and remember the excitement I'd feel whenever they'd spontaneously stop by.

Katie decided on a neat location to spread Grandpa's ashes. Again, this was a first for most of us. I have to say that the experience from start to finish suited my Grandpa. I can't imagine a more appropriate place for his family to gather on his behalf.
 The family commentary wasn't formal, but there was a reverence and a feeling of unity as we hiked and visited together. It was great to see my cousins, Aunts and Uncles and to listen to my Dad banter back and forth with my Uncle Rob.
(Dad, Grandpa's wife Katie, Uncle Melvin Rob and Aunt Lyn)

A public walk and memorial service followed later that evening for his neighbors and friends. I did not attend as I was already headed back home to my kids but I hear that was likewise a neat experience. Since his passing, my thoughts continue to circulate around my Grandpa as I imagine what he must be doing now. I think of his reunion with my sweet Grandmother among other things.

May you rest in peace, Grandpa. You are very loved and sincerely missed.

1 comment:

Karina said...

I don't think I knew that your grandpa had passed away. My condolences. Sounds like the memorial was a neat experience. I can't believe you got out of a speeding ticket. Disgusting.