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Memory: Lawrence Power

01 January, 2022

I first heard my grandpa called Larry at his funeral. It made sense; his name was Lawrence. I was in my first year of college, and that was the first time I really recognized my grandpa as more than husband, dad, grandpa. He was a friend to so many people, and the stories and memories that his friends shared made me miss him so much more.

Grandpa, at right, fixing a chainsaw with a neighbor.

I'm not sure what kind of cancer killed him. In our family that's not the level of detail that people concerned themselves with. Maybe it was in his liver. No, maybe the kidney. I couldn't say because at the time I was too afraid to go to the hospital to see him. I didn't want to remember my grandpa sick and hooked up to machines. It's something I'll always regret.

What I do remember is his love of ham radio, his cardigans with the elbow patches, and the fact that he didn't sleep--he was just resting his eyes, he said.

He was a great salesman too, and I remember the time he convinced us we need to all those three-ring binders we were sent home with. Not sure if we ever used them, but I was sold that they'd come in handy.

Grandpa, at right, in Jamaica.

He was such a great salesman that he and my grandma were able to travel the world thanks to bonuses and rewards he was able to earn. That's how I got to know my grandpa more as a person. I inherited all of his slides (of which I'd seen dozens of times during slide show presentations) and meticulously scanned them into my computer. There he was, smiling on the Great Wall of China, enjoying the beach in Jamaica, and exploring the hillsides of Ireland.

Of course there were the family photos. He loved to barbecue, so there are plenty of backyard picnics. There are photos of me and my sister, my dad and his truck, my grandma and her dog Fritz, and my grandpa fixing a chainsaw.

Grandpa was in his late 80s when he died in 1996. There was one photo someone took of him in that hospital bed, which I didn't save. Instead, I have the photos he took of himself and others which continue to radiate his joy for life. That's a good memory.