You may not know it, but yesterday the world lost a wonderful man. Ninety two years young but ready to be reunited with his bride of 67 years, my grandfather passed quietly yesterday in the peace of his home.
Born in 1919 on the island of Maui, Llewellyn Weight grew up living a life that many of us only read about in books. He rode donkeys, surfed using longboards, and watched Hawaii evolve from the world of sugar plantations into the 50th state. In fact, his mother was the last lady in waiting for Queen Liliuokalani.
Nicknamed Red at a young age due to his vibrant red hair which contrasted to his family’s dark features, he wanted nothing but to make something of his life. After graduating from high school he yearned to enter the Navy but unfortunately was never accepted due to a foot injury which never properly healed. This in turn saved him during that fateful day on December 7th, 1941 when many people he knew would lose their life in Pearl Harbor. Instead, at the age of 20 he came across the Pacific for the first time to enter electrical school in Washington, DC. He then started his career as an electrical engineer working on the ships during the war.
It was during this time that he met my grandmother. She was the receptionist at a company on Mare Island near San Francisco when she greeted him with her warm smile and stunning looks. A few months later they said I Do in front of their closest friends and started a life together which would take them on many adventures.
My grandfather’s job as an electrical engineer meant that with every power plant he finished building, there was another one waiting in a new city. In a fifty year span, they moved more than twenty times from coast to coast. In his eyes, my grandfather’s role was to provide for his family and instill hard work in both of his children. Stern, but loving, he always knew what he expected of others and never settled for anything else.
Over the years some of his characteristics never changed but he certainly mellowed. During retirement, his favorite pastime was playing golf with his friends and enjoying Savannah’s sunshine. As a grandfather, I could have hoped for nothing better. His warm smile would always greet me anytime I visited before telling me, with a wink, that I was finally almost as pretty as my grandmother. He believed in equality between boys and girls, therefore taking me on the golf course as his caddy just as often as he took my brother. I’ll never part ways with the desk and bookshelves he helped me make at the age of 11 one hot summer when I had grown jealous of all the wood working he and my brother did together.
There are many things I’ll remember about my grandfather but more than anything I’ll remember that he, like my grandmother, was always here for my family growing up. Their home was my second home and I spent many a weekend there during my childhood taking long walks, riding along during golf games, and hearing of his childhood adventures.
While the days that come will be difficult, I’m thankful that I can be here with my family during this time. Thanks to Delta and my amazing company, I was literally forced out of the office yesterday and told to take as long as I needed to be with my family. Delta came through with bereavement fares and had me on the next flight down to Savannah.
Over the next few days I’m not sure how I’ll feel about blogging as I know I want to focus on being with my family. Therefore, I have a few guest posts lined up and am open to more if you’re interested. I’ll check in soon and until then, be thankful today for the ones you love.