Monday, November 8, 2010

Happy 100th Birthday, Richard P. Hughey--You Are Missed

The other Pens have done an admirable job of speaking about the topic of addiction so I'm going to give it a pass and share something that has been on my mind quite a bit lately.

On October 31, 2010 my grandfather, Richard Pascal Hughey would have turned 100 years old. Unfortunately he succumbed to old age last December about ten months short of his 100th birthday.

He was an extraordinary man. One I am proud to call my grandfather. He was a child of divorce, not a common occurrence in the 1920's. My great-grandmother (an extraordinary woman) chose to divorce her husband because he was an alcoholic. When you consider the era, it was an incredibly courageous choice. Then when my grandfather was twelve they moved from Georgia to Baltimore. My great-grandmother remarried and I still remember my grandfather telling me how sorry he was about his behavior during his teen years dealing with his step-father.

My grandmother developed dementia (he would never call it Alzheimer's, although it seems sure to me that this was her affliction) and he took care of her even as she grew increasingly frail and her mind deserted her. My grandfather refused to have someone in to care for my grandmother, even though he could afford the extra cost. He loved her with a passion didn't diminish even after she passed away.

He taught by example, a complete lack of prejudice and color-blindness, in his actions. He accepted people for who they were not the color of their skin or their sexual or religious preferences. He was a fantastic role model and a wonderful grandfather. While I am sad that he didn't live until one hundred, I am thankful for every day he spent on this earth, teaching me those same values.

R.I.P Grandfather...we miss you.

Love,
Lisa

9 comments:

Sophie Littlefield said...

So glad that you had the years with him that you did...

Mysti said...

Much empathy to you for your loss, Lisa. It's so wonderful when a person uses the challenges that life throws at them to grow.

Your wonderful attitude about life pays testament to your wonderful grandfather.

Lisa Hughey said...

Sophie and Mysti--thanks :) I didn't do him justice. He had arthritis in his spine toward the end and had to use a walker, he was literally twisted kinda like a pretzel, and he'd say, "oh, i'm lucky, I don't really have any problems." He just rolled with whatever came his way.

Martha Flynn said...

Did you both have the same birth date? What a wonderful connection!

Lisa Hughey said...

M-We did share our birthday :)

Rachael Herron said...

Awww. Teary. Happy birthday, Mr. Hughey.

L.G.C. Smith said...

Lovely. :) Sniff.

Juliet Blackwell said...

Great post. Wish I had known him!

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