Tuesday, January 24, 2017



It's been nearly one month since you passed away. My heart is still heavy and happy. I mourn for myself and how my life will be effected with you moving on. That is as much selfish as it is natural. With you being 98 1/2, I know you lived a long good life, but I can't help feeling moments of sadness and that hole in my chest. You lived a life full of love, passion, happiness and goodness. Married to your sweetheart for 72 years prior to her passing. I can't imagine how difficult those three years must have been for each of you. I am full of peace, knowing the two of you are reunited once again, and it helps take away the sting of death. That reunion is greater than any sorrow that I should feel. 

You are a role model to me in many different ways.

Being a man of God. Always serving others, always trusting and never wavering your faith.

A man of intellect, always found reading a book or writing. Writing  books on welfare that became published and books of life experiences for your family. That impressive library in your den, where each book on the shelf had been read from cover to cover. You could recall information, tell which book it came from and which shelf and placement the book was located. Maybe this is where my feelings stem for the desire of a home library.

The person I went to when information was needed for a school project. At the funeral you were described as, "a man of Google, Instagram, and Encyclopedia's [Hawke will never know what that is] all rolled up into one." That couldn't be more fitting.

A man of perseverance. I think you "retired" from work three different times, right?

A man of strength. Though I've had ailments and sickness, you have out done me by far. Your physical power and energy, give me strength in my own battles.

A man of humor. Telling jokes up until the last time I spoke with you. I hope to develop more of this characteristic in my life.

A man of love. Always referring to you wife with adoration. Not once did I ever see you upset at "Mama" or spoke in a brash way. This example you led by appropriately treating your wife helped guide me to my husband. I thank you for helping me find Ric.

A man of support and interest. Engaging in my life with sports. You'd call the day after a basketball game asking for a report. Then proceeding to take over the conversation rattling off my stats you'd already read in that mornings paper. Thank you for being proud of my accomplishments, how small or big they may be.

The clarinet. The hum of that instrument, will always be associated with you, Grandpa.

A man of commitment. Married to my grandmother for 72 years before her passing. You worked and stayed with the companies that gave you employment from the beginning (great-grandfather's poultry farm, and then the Church after that).

A man of stories. Always had one to tell from your time in New Zealand, from childhood play, and life back in the early 1900's. Story telling, another trait I hope to develop. 

Two good men

After Grandma passed, Friday nights were reserved

 for "Date Night" dinners taking Grandpa out.

First Thanksgiving after Grandma passed

Using my Respiratory Therapist skills
 Grandpa's reaction to finding out Hawke's name

 97 years between them

Hawke 6 weeks old.

These two!

My grandfather and grandmother were so special to me. I was their "Little Biffy", their "Biffencourt". I lived in the same house with them until I was three years old. My Mom and Dad lived in their basement apartment. Each morning I would wake up, run upstairs and crawl in bed with them. Grandpa would hide gummy bears around the front room (on the piano keys, the arm rest of the chair, the fireplace mantel) and I would need to go search for them. This might be where my love of gummy bears came from? They certainly are nostalgic to me, and tied to wonderful memories.

Grandpa always had a headache, always. Grandpa could fold a mouse out of his handkerchief and it would "jump" up his arm. Grandpa could "remove his thumb" and "stick pencils or straws up his nose". He was always full of tricks to entertain his young grandchildren. I loved our yearly "Rudd family sleepovers". One hundred of us piled throughout their house and backyard, up late playing games and cards together. Cousins are the best. Family is your greatest friendship. They taught me that.

Grandpa left a legacy for his posterity. With his passing, and even the few years prior, my reflection on his life has caused me to reflect on my own. What kind of legacy are you going to leave behind? What will others remember you by? What will your children remember you as? I have many qualities I hope to be remembered for, some I think I do well and others still need refining. But, I hope to always be refining and never settling.

I love you Grandpa. Please kiss Grandma for me. We will do our best to raise Hawke as a man you would be proud of. I'll see you when my time comes.


January 4, 2017
Grandpa & Grandma napping. Forever love.

Family Reunion at Cherry Hill Waterpark, 2014

First Christmas after Grandma passed. Grandpa had a sleepover
at Mom and Dad's home with all of us. He thought our silly pajama's were funny.

Ric wearing Grandpa's classic coat & cane
Visiting Gramps after a doctor appointment for baby!
Camping up at Spruces,  2014

August 1, 2015 Grandpa sealed our family together for eternity

four great men