My Grampy, Lee Kenyon Udall, went home yesterday. He has missed my Grandma desperately for 7 months and is now enjoying a sweet reunion with her. My cousin Amanda has already written a beautiful tribute titled, "Home". It's very fitting since that is what I feel like I will miss most with my grandparents gone from this earth. They have always provided me with a sense of home. They were home to me.
My brain is only half functioning so I have stolen and modified something my cousin Amanda wrote:
Grandpa lived in several houses. He lived in the big church street house, the one with the old Robinson Hall brick walkway. When it rained, that walkway was covered with snails that I remember crunching under my 4 year old flip flops. I got to live in this house as a child. I felt like a little princess living in one of the towers of the castle. I remember my brother Jeff teaching me to write my name on the chalk board that hung just behind the saloon style doors in the laundry room. I spent hours playing in that laundry room and bathing in the giant, deep sink. I remember Grandpa's muddy work boots sitting by the back door and his cowboy hat perched on the fridge. We all acquired Grandpa's love for M*A*S*H and the 4077. He'd eat chocolate powder and milk stirred around in his ice cream. Grandpa kept horses at this house. He also built an above ground, metal fish pond for us. I think one of the fish was named Jeffy. I spent hours of my childhood on the old steel swing set in that backyard. He later built us a tree house and a cable car. The entire neighborhood loved that back yard, even though the Cement House was full of spiders.
He lived in the blue Carpenter house next door where we played many a game of 10 to 1 at that old round table with it's makeshift leaves. He gave many patriarchal blessings in that house. Grandpa often requested the granddaughters sing, “For Unto Us…” which included, of course, the “dink, dink, dinks” so that he could laugh out loud. Grandpa liked to sing. More than that, however, he appreciated a good song. There was always music at grandpa’s family gatherings. Grandpa liked fruit cocktail and sprite in his ice cream, or with grandma’s home-made chocolate sauce. He liked any ice cream really. His home was Thatcher where he sure did “bleed green” for the Eagles. I lived in the addition to that house for a several months while I attended EA. I wanted my independence but more than that, I wanted to be near them.
At his home-away-from-home, the office, he did the work of helping people. Sometimes he was not even compensated at all for his services. Other times, he traded his lawyer-ings for random things like a trailer (which the cousins spent many hours playing "house” in) or the bus that took us Christmas caroling and “dragging main street.”
He lived in the Peoria mission house with all those bunk beds and that big dining room. He showed us around the homes of the early saints and the prophet Joseph and I knew that not only did grandpa have a testimony of the restoration, but I did too. I felt the Spirit there. I knew those missionaries loved and respected my Grandpa the way I did.
He lived in the temple house. I loved to stand at that kitchen sink and do dishes while watching the people come and go from the temple. I loved playing Tackle Spoons with my cousins while my grandparents watched with delight and horror! I have been to several temple weddings that he performed. With each subsequent sealing, he seemed to be more and more emotional perhaps at the joy in his posterity. The day he passed, I pictured grandpa in his white suit on the steps of the House of the Lord with grandma. She called him Home. May I live worthy to go Home too.