As I look at these images I captured a few years ago it occurs to me that a man can leave behind no greater legacy than the one left behind by Richard Dye. He served our country as a World War II veteran and he worked hard to provide, support, and care for his family. It's strange to me to even type his name because I never called him by it. To me he was grandpa, because that's who he was to my best friend Sandra. He was her grandpa. Her rock!
I have been so fortunate in this life to find best friends that I have grown up with from the age of 14 and we have been so close that their families have become like my family. When we were teenagers grandpa had a big office located next door to his house, it was set up much like an apartment with a kitchen and full bathroom. He put up with our crazy teenage antics and let us have sleepovers, bible studies, dinners, and parties there. Later after high school Sandra turned it into her own little apartment and I practically lived there for most of one summer. Later on he even let us borrow his car for one of our road trips to Alabama and Biloxi. There wasn't much he wouldn't do for his granddaughter.
Grandpa was a good man and it seems like those are harder and harder to come by these days. He's left behind family and friends who love and adore him, but will one day be reunited with him. His family will tell you he was very stubborn and he was ALWAYS right, but that's part of what made him grandpa. The last time I saw him he was giving the nurses a hard time, smiling, telling jokes, and he made sure I gave him a hug before I left.
Grandpa passed away a few days ago at the age of 91 and although he will be missed I know his family is thankful that he no longer lives with aches and pains, no longer has to use a walker to get around, no longer has trouble hearing or remembering things. He's with his loved ones who went before him and he's looking forward to the day we will all join him there too! Until then we will never forget his kindness, his laugh, and his stories.