The world lost a great man today .You wont hear about it on CNN, you wont see it on the nightly news, it is only written on the faces of his family and friends. Flags wont be listed at half-mast. There wont be a worldwide moment of silence. This was a common man. A man, in many ways like most others. This man never rode a shuttle into space or soared amongst the stars. But, ask his grandchildren who hung the moon. They will tell you. It was him. He never created anything earth shattering, except for the family whose world today came crashing down. He wasnt worldly, just a good man whose word and handshake meant more than most. His life wasnt chronicled by the news or the press, but his life story is etched in the hearts of his loved ones. His fame didnt come from money and wealth. It didnt come from Whos Who in the world. The fame that he sought was only to be found in the eyes of his wife. In a day where marriages are often measured in years, even months, they proudly measured theirs in decades. Six. He never traveled the globe or rubbed elbows with the elite. But, he had a standing spot at the local hardware store counter on Saturday mornings alongside the rest of the common men. This man didnt drive anything shiny and new. His favorite ride was that old red Farmall. The one still tucked away in the barn I suspect. As the oldest grandchild, sometimes I feel spoiled that he was mine for so long. For 89 years this man graced the lives of those who knew him. For 62 years he was a husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. Was he a perfect man? No, not by the dictionarys standard. Was he perfect for us? A resounding yes echoes from our hearts. He gave us each what we needed--when we needed it--even when we didnt know we needed it-- and even if we didnt like it .discipline, laughter, punishment, a place to call home, time and most of all love. I wish I could tell you every story Ive heard, every funny thing that ever happened. I could regale you with farm stories, parenting tales, driving experiences, things to make you laugh and even cry. He never spent a dull moment. He never let life pass him by. I suppose I could jot all this down in a book but for you it would be simpler to look into the faces of his wife and their family. That is where the true story is written. In 40 years, Ive only ever had him tell me a time or two that he loved me, and I said it first both times. But I didnt have to hear it to know it. I tasted it in the vanilla ice cream with sprinkles. (Shhh. Dont tell your Grand-Ma, she doesnt need to know everything). I saw it in my handmade toy box. I felt it in the heat of the summer sun on the back of a tractor. I smelled it in the sweet hay in the mow. I heard it when he yelled at my mistakes and I heard it when he mumbled a praise. I know. If you ask me what one item I want from his things, I would tell you that I already have what I want. I have his memories, his pictures, his stories, his history and most of all, I have his genes. I have his blood. I have what made him who he was. That is a gift, greater than all. My tribute to him is in the life that I lead and the children I raise. My greatest gift to him is to be someone that he would be proud of.