This Monday morning started pretty quietly. I woke up at home after an amazing weekend in Las Vegas. Voice scratchy, eyes tired, smiling as I reflected on good times and great friendships.
I made coffee and an to-do list: write a blog post, send the next edition of my way-too-long-overdue Inside Scoop newsletter, address the 200 emails in my inbox, make a few calls, plan a webinar for Wednesday, walk the dog, go for a run and to yoga, and drop my clothes off at the dry cleaner.
Then I got a call from my uncle saying that my grandpa died of a sudden heart attack this morning.
He was leaving the gym (never misses a workout) and according to the garage attendant, had the wherewithal to put his car in park even while having a heart attack. Life is short, but he lived a long beautiful one and left us today at the age of 83.
The to-do list vanished immediately.
All I could think about was reaching my family, canceling everything, and driving down to Southern California. It's amazing how families can instantly come together in times like this, and I am grateful to be part of one that has.
The remainder of this blog post is dedicated to my grandpa: Harold Sydney Deino (1928-2011)
Grandpa -- thank you for being so wonderful. You were an amazing, generous, kind-hearted man.
You celebrated your 60th wedding anniversary this year, and I am in awe of the family, career and retirement you created with your incredible wife, who I am proud to call my grandma.
You were a child of the Great Depression, and taught us all innumerable lessons about spending, saving and investing wisely.
I've always loved knowing that you drew the exclamation phrases for the original Batman show when you worked at ABC; you taught me to value design and precision, and to take pride in my work.
I loved all of your routines: sitting outside with coffee, toast and your newspapers in the morning, 24 Hour Fitness with the latest Nikes (even at 83!), religiously taping every Lakers game, and the way you took diligent notes to learn how to use the computer, your iPod, and your new iPad.
You take organization to a whole new level -- no gadget goes unlabeled, no file sits out of place. We all smiled this evening when we went to use the coffee grinder and saw a note on the lid about how high to fill it; you really did think of everything.
You taught me to value exploration and new cultures by watching you and grandma travel the world -- every continent twice over and too many countries to count.
You were the MacGyver of the house, creating contraptions and hacks and ingenious solutions for every inconvenience and product design flaw known to man.
When I visited in April you wanted to make sure I had a nice dress for my book launch party in New York, so you waited patiently while grandma and I went shopping after dinner. I absolutely love the dress we found, and I loved the proud smile on your face when I showed it to you once we got home.
The picture below is for you, grandpa -- I will think of you every time I see it. We miss you so much already. Your memory will be with us always...may you rest in peace.
Reminder: send a note -- or better yet, give a hug -- to someone you love today.