Celebrating Life


This past Wednesday, my grandfather passed away. He lived 87 beautiful years. He was an outdoorsman, family man, sailor, ski patrolmen, pilot, skydiver, motorcycle enthusiast, rock climber, avid gardener, and one heck of a grandfather.

Whenever my family gathered together over the holidays, after dinner I would always sit on his lap in his massive recliner chair and he would utter the same few sentences, which have stuck with me forever.

“You want to know something my honey? I am the richest man in the world. I have met and married the most beautiful woman on this here planet, I have two exceptionally strong and intelligent sons, I have two extraordinary daughter-in-laws who work hard and keep my boys in line, but most importantly, I have four grandkids who have given my life meaning and who have shown me a kind of love that I did not know existed. Now that is the richest life.”

My heart breaks because there is a missing piece to our family puzzle, however I know that he is in a better place.

This past weekend I flew to Wisconsin to be with my family and commemorate my grandfather’s life. He would have wanted us to eat, play cards, give thanks, and enjoy the company of one another, and that is exactly what we did.

My grandma is a phenomenal cook. She prepared a feast unlike any other. It included my grandpa’s favorites: homemade Chinese food, salad, meatloaf, her notorious lemon bars, and mixed berry pie.

Food and family go hand in hand. It is a way to bring people together and interact in a loving manner, reinforcing bonds while celebrating health and happiness. For my family, this is our way of laughing and reminiscing on good times.

On Saturday there was a family reception and funeral. Afterwards over 100 friends and distant relatives joined in a catered lunch. The meal was followed by many heartfelt speeches.

Unfortunately, the weekend was short but filled with unconditional love. Even though aging sucks, there is something beautiful about seeing people grow and become their best selves. Live in the present moment as much as you can and treat everyday as a way to learn from others but also from yourself.

Shout out to my incredible legend of a grandfather, rest in peace.