This Bud's for You, Grandpa

My Grandpa Geerling was a very ordinary man. He lived in a simple split-level with a loving wife, and raised nine children while working at a union job.

He loved golf, he loved tools, he loved his children, grandchildren, and more recently, great grandchildren. He had a strong faith that he proclaimed in word and deed throughout his life to all his friends and family—even especially when they needed it most.

He drank Bud Light, and always had golf, racing, football, baseball, or hockey on the TV—unless his team was losing.

His name won't be in any songs, nor will he have a page remembering him on Wikipedia. The world won't remember him—but he didn't have his eyes set on worldly recognition.

My grandparents, dancing

He devoted his life to his wife and children. He was always happy when someone would visit and talk sports, religion, politics, or kitchen remodeling. He was glad to loan out his tools to anyone who asked (and boy, did we ask!), and was always generous in sharing the modest possessions he had.

Last October, I noticed that his entire family—my aunts, uncles and cousins from out of town, his brothers and sisters, his wife, his many grandchildren and great grandchildren—came to support him in his final hours on this earth. He couldn't make his holy hour of adoration, so one of his sons made sure to go and be with Jesus in the Eucharist during that time. He couldn't speak the words of the Rosary audibly, but that didn't mean his family didn't.

He couldn't tell his wife, his brothers and sisters, his sons and daughters, his grandchildren and great grandchildren, to come together and visit him, but also connect with each other one last time before his death. But we did.

At the funeral, as I looked around, I saw doctors, musicians, programmers, writers, members of the armed forces, beautiful families, and many precious children (one of them my own, inside my wife's belly). And I know that my grandfather wasn't a 'great man' of worldly acclaim. But his legacy will make this world a greater place.

He and his wife have spent their lives devoted to their faith and family, and their family was there at the end to support him, as he went to visit God. I pray that he will join the choirs of angels in Heaven, and be united with God eternally. He was a humble man, and he would want me to tell you to pray for him, too. Nobody can pass judgement but God, and nobody can know a man's soul as God did. Everyone needs prayers after they die, even a man of great faith like my grandfather.

On his deathbed, one of my aunts asked him if he wanted anything—something to drink or eat. One of his last words to his children, "I'll take a Bud Light."

Dear Grandpa Geerling, this Bud's for you:

Bud Light for Grandpa Geerling


Thanks for this post, Jeff! I was very close to my grandfather on my mother's side, who died of cancer when I was nine. My grandpa Bob was a father-figure to me when my mom and biological father were divorced. He taught me how to fish, how to ride a bike and helped me to maintain a rather normal childhood when things were rough. He was a very hard working man, had a great love for God and the Church (and St. Therese) and was always there for his family. I think it's always good to keep such people alive in our hearts and minds, not only so that we can remember them as they were, but so we can pray for them as well. I keep a copy of his picture and prayer card from his funeral in my wallet to remind me to pray for him.

I just hope that when you and I are grandpas, we can also be there for our grandchildren (and our children). Be a strong bulwark of the faith, and don't be afraid to teach with hard work, prayer, and love.

Great work, Jeff. Grandpa was a great man. His consistency is a tough act to follow.