Granddad’s Eulogy -Daniel Buchanan
It’s hard to sum up someones life in words, much less in only six pages, but here goes:
My Granddad, Ralph Hendrix, was one of the most influential men in my life, if not the most strong reason I am how I am. He was very particular about most things and always did things “The Right Way.” From a very young age, he taught me how to speak, how to walk, how to swim, how to ride a bike, how to save money, how to treat people, and many other important “how to’s” I can’t remember today. His voice is the one I hear in my head, especially when I’m about to mess up, which I sometimes do on purpose, only to see his look of disapprovement mixed with anticipation at how I’ll try to fix the mess I’ve made. He’d say, “Now Dan, What’s next on your schedule? What’s next? What are you going to do about that?” And he’d let me try to figure it out myself, giving me gentle nudges in the right direction. He taught me how to figure things out for myself and rely on common sense and detailed research both, to make a good decision.
But most importantly, he taught me how to be a grown man in America:
- be thoughtful and careful,
- loving in actions and
- accurate in words,
- prudent with money and
- always taking care of things.
For 40 years, he’s been in my life and I’m so blessed to have had a Granddad so involved with my family for 40 years! I have a 15 year old Sena and a 10 year old son named Daniel II. Granddad and Grandma were at everything they did from day one. Matter fact I think they were at the Lisa Ross Birth and Women’s Center waiting patiently with all of us when they arrived . They wouldn’t miss Grandfriends day or birthday parties, baseball games or band concerts, or any other special occasion. They made time together a special occasion we enjoyed. Whenever I showed up alone to their house, it was always, where’s Little D and Sena? I’m pretty sure they loved those great grandkids much more than me, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Granddad’s love for children extended to his donations to charities, which we found he was doing a lot of towards the end. He loved children and he loved giving. He gave to many catholic charities and donated to my kids college fund. As a matter of fact, the college fund Grandma and him setup for me helped me pay for college at UT when I attended. He’s setup that same fund for my kids and funded it since birth.
Granddad pushed me to be more always. After I graduated from college, first in my family, I was lauded with praise and affection from the family. But Granddad, always pushing me, was the only one to ask me, “What’s next? Grad school? Law school?” So now I badly want to ask him, “What’s next? Where have you gone granddad and what do you see now?”
In my mind, he’s finally back with grandma, stolen from this world in February 2018 from Granddad’s arms. I can see them now, flying in some tiny single propeller engine plane or driving some fast little sports car along heaven’s highways towards the beach, showing young orphans in heaven how to ride horses and train dogs, grandparenting every little lost child sent to heaven without grandparents as special and as dear as mine. So What’s Next? Grandma and Granddad are back together, they will be sorely missed, but they will live on in our hearts forever.
One last thing: I don’t think a person can become at one with someone else until they pass, because until then, they’ll always be “over there.” Well from now on, Grandma and Granddad will always be in here and a part of me. I love you Granddad, thank you for all you’ve done in my life and the lives of my wife and children, tell grandma I said hello and we miss her, and I’ll see you later when I get to those golden shores, we can all walk down that beach together again.