Thursday, October 10, 2013

You will be Missed Grandpa

"Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal"- unknown

My sweet grandfather, Ray Moosman, passed away last week.  He was such an example to everyone in our family and for anyone who met him. He was the hardest working man I have ever met and taught that to all his children and grandchildren. He was witty and loved to laugh and joke around. He was stubborn and had a firecracker personality. Most of all his was the most generous and charitable man.

He played such a big part in my life and always supported me. Even with a huge, busy family he always made time to call me and check on how I was doing in school and life in general. He always made sure to tell me that he was proud of my accomplishments and wanted me to succeed in college. He knew money was tight for my mom and that my scholarships only went so far. He sent me $100 every month like clockwork from the time I started college. It made all the difference in the world to me.

When I was little he would make sure to pick me up every Christmas so I could attend the Moosman Christmas party. It was a tradition I loved and was always entertaining. I remember when I was maybe 12 or 13 he came to pick me up and when I was getting ready to get into the backseat of the car he had hid a plastic snake on the back seat to scare me. Trust me it did, I'm terrified of snakes. As I screamed he just laughed, which then made me laugh. The car ride to the party was always entertaining too. Every year, without fail, Grandpa and Grandma Shirley would bicker about how to drive the entire way. "Ray, turn your turn signal on. Ray, get in the other lane." or vice versa depending on who was driving.  This would probably drive most people crazy, but it was more entertaining than anything. He drove a taxicab for years to support his family, he drove up to the age of 82. About a year or so ago my mom was driving down the freeway and was behind a taxi car that was driving maybe 10 miles under the speed limit. Annoyed she got into the next lane to pass the car, she happened to glance over at the driver there was Grandpa, cowboy hat and all, just chatting away with the passenger in the back. I hope his passenger wasn't in too much of a hurry.

Another memory that makes me smile was at this past year's Christmas party, every year we have Santa come and bring gifts to all the kids. Santa pulls gifts from behind the tree and you have to come and sit on his lap, no matter how old you are. (You only get out of it once you're married.) Well Santa had pulled out a couple of the gifts, which were gladly taken by the little ones. Then he pulls out a present and reads off the name, "Grandpa" and with little enticing on Santa's knee sat Grandpa. Laughter, snapping cameras and phones filled the room. He was always up for a good laugh. He loved Christmas. Its the time our big family all gets together, catches up, and has a good time. Grandpa made sure that every year he had a Christmas present for all the grand kids (and there is a lot of us) when we were little he would get us all matching pjs (which over the years changed to just pjs) and then when we reached a certain age he would give us money. It was always a highlight of the Christmas party, especially for the teenagers. Mostly it was just a way he showed his love for us. He'd have given anyone in our family his last dollar if he knew they needed it. This Christmas will be a hard one for all of us not having him there. 

Anyone who met Grandpa and spent more than 10 minutes with him, you would know his passion in life was the horses. I don't think I ever had a conversation with him that didn't involve the horses. At his home he has pictures of  all the "greats" they had owned and I remember sitting in the living room a couple years ago and he would bring out different pictures and tell about each one. I probably sat there a good hour and a half listening to him reminisce. Honestly, it was one of the best conversations I had with him not because I was really interested in the horses, but because his passion and the stories of the past was so strong. He told me about growing up with horses and how he got into the horse business. Even though my grandpa had been really sick the last couple months he couldn't wait till he could be back with the horses. He was worried he'd still be in the hospital when their was a horse race on the weekend.

His passion is something that he passed on to everyone in the family. He taught us to work hard and be passionate about the things we love and that family will always be there. I still cannot believe that he is gone. I don't know what we will do without him and a void has been left in our hearts. His funeral was a great time to remember him and talk about all the great times we had. As hard as it was to say goodbye we know he isn't sick and in pain anymore. He is with my uncle Gary, his two daughters that died at birth, and cousin Cody now. I know he is watching over our family and sending his love. I know that his spirit will always be the strongest with the horses and the races. 
"When a loved one becomes a memory, that memory becomes a wonderful treasure to hold in your heart forever."

I love you Grandpa and miss you so much. 

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