This was my memorial speech for Grandpa Reaburn.

I’m a very lucky person. I have wonderful children, a great husband and amazing parents and for over 30 years of my life, I had all four of my grandparents as a part of my life.

Grandpa Reaburn was a really special man. As a kid, I have wonderful memories of grandpa. I always appreciated his quiet ways and warm smiles. He was also a really good listener and tried to make us happy. He knew that I am a fan of homemade items and when I asked him to make anything, he did. One of his special creations for me was a night table. I loved that night table and when I got older and no longer lived at home, he made me a second one so I would have a matching set and although they are now a different colour, Jeff and I still use them as our night tables.

As an adult, I also have special memories of grandpa but a deeper connection developed through our love of the field of education. I think grandpa was really proud when I became a teacher as it was an extension of him. In reading the messages people posted on his obituary, I know that his reach was far. I also learned that even though we didn’t have too many pedagogical discussions, he and I shared very similar views on education. He was more concerned about developing students into responsible citizens and good human beings. A view I also share. Many people commented that he always made them feel like they mattered regardless of their abilities in school. He had a smile, joke or kind word and ultimately, showed many students that he cared which is one of the elements of a teacher’s personality that many students desire. I’m so proud that my grandfather was one of those educators.

Finally, I had the privilege of seeing grandpa as a great grandpa to Lexie and Cali. Lexie has an unbelievable memory and after we would visit grandma and grandpa, Lexie would remind us that grandpa got down on the floor and played blocks with her. It’s pretty special that she had that opportunity to interact with her great grandfather like that. One of the moments I will treasure, however, is from the weeks leading up to his death. On one of his last weekends, many members of his family were with him and he was all smiles. It was obvious he was in his glory being surrounded by so many people he loved. But the most precious aspect of the visit was when he tried to play with Cali. She was playing with the blocks in front of him and he was watching her. Even though I know it physically took a lot for him, he tried to get down to her level and play with her.

That is how I will remember grandpa. A man who made a difference in the lives of so many.

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