Buckeye Nation lost a great one today... - BUCKEYE_Bomber
... my grandfather graduated from Ohio State in the late 1940s. There he lived in the dorms that used to exist under the stadium and met a co-ed who would someday be my grandmother. Eventually my parents would also meet at Ohio State and go on to get degrees while Archie Griffin was breaking records. My mother once dropped her school books as Coach Hayes and two of his players walked by. Coach Hayes stopped and only said one word, "men!" and before my mother could react the players picked her books up for her.
Still, football was not something my family ever really cared about in school. Fast forward to my childhood and when I was about 13 years old I became obsessed with all things OSU football. I was mesmerized by Eddie George and the powerful OSU offensive line as well as our hard-hitting defense. I fell in love with the idea that success could only be achieved with 11 players working as hard as they can in perfect sync for 4 to 6 seconds.
Fast forward a few more years and my grandparents retire from great jobs in Toledo and move out to Oregon to be near my family. I go to college at a small school in Oregon and we get together every weekend, as a family, with my grandparents to celebrate life together.
Fast forward again to about 5 years ago and my grandparents are in declining health. Many of my grandpa's pleasures in life have been stripped from him. However, he and grandma still come over on weekends. Only now, during OSU football games, when I look over to the rocker next to me as I sit on the couch, I see my grandpa sitting there next to me. Just like me there is so much joy on his face as the team plays well and just like me we wonder why Ohio State doesn't develop their short passing game and shake our heads.
Fast forward again to the beginning of this season. My grandfather's health is in serious decline and he is in the hospital often. I am living in Oregon now but finishing a Ph.D. from long distance at an out-of-state school. My grandpa is in the hospital more often than not now, sleeping all the time, and telling me he is ready to die. Little seems to brig him joy, except when I visit he always greets me with a question that reignites a dormant spark inside... "so who is Ohio State playing this Saturday?" I realize that the highlight of his weeks for the last year or so are when I pick him up on Saturday's, bring him to my parents house, and we all watch the Buckeyes play football.
Thank you Buckeyes for beating OU last week... that was really satisfying for my grandpa despite the fact that he was so weak he slept through most of the game. My grandpa passed away this morning and while I struggle to process, I will be able to find some comfort in the times we watched the game together.
I will graduate with my Ph.D. from that out-of-state school this December and I truly regret I could not finish it in time for my grandfather to see me graduate. I'm proud to say that school is Ohio State and I look forward to joining my grandpa as a fellow graduate of that great institution. I love you grandpa and miss you.
If you have read this far, thanks for letting me share my grandpa with you. GO BUCKS!
The height of confidence is standing up in a hammock.