Celebrating Life

Hi Friends-

Hubby and I have been out of town for the past couple of days, spending time with family and celebrating the life of my grandfather.


We flew out to Portland, Maine on Monday afternooon and got home late last night. My grandparents lived in Massachusetts while I was growing up, and my aunt lives in Portland, so every summer my mom, sister and I would pack our bags and spend a couple of weeks with them on the east coast. When my grandpa got older, we moved him into an assisted living facility in Portland, so that’s where we had the funeral. I hadn’t actually been to Maine in about 11 years…since right before my senior year of high school, so it was nice to be able to get out there and spend some time with family and revisit some of the places I used to go growing up.


We dropped these two off at the vet. The place we usually board them was all booked up due to 4th of July. Luckily this was only for a few days. It’s always so hard to leave them.


We survived hubby’s first time traveling with his sling, and stayed in a cute little bed and breakfast up the road from where my parents and sister were staying at a family friend’s house.


The service was Tuesday morning. It was very small, mostly just family since he outlived almost all of his friends at age 93…but it was very well done.


We headed back to have lunch with the family and Jake!


Then came my favorite part of the trip. My grandpa was a bit of a packrat and he saved a TON of stuff over the years. We spent several hours going through a couple of boxes of amazing old things. He was in the navy and he and my mimi wrote each other every day during the war. They saved ALL of the letters so there was just folders and folders of amazing love letters to read. Plus things like old chemistry tests, report cards and other stuff from his childhood and his time in the navy. We also found out he was at the game in the 1956 World Series when Larsen pitched the only perfect game in series history!


Plus there were tons of amazing photos of my grandparents when they were younger. They were SO adorable and so in love. It was fun to look at all the pictures with my mom and aunt and hear more stories about their family.


This was by far the best thing we found. A letter from my grandpa’s friends to my grandma encouraging her to marry him :)


We also found some pictures of little Bean!


Tuesday night we went out to dinner and met up with one of my oldest friends, who recently moved back to Portland, for a beer. Wednesday we spent the day with my parents and sister wandering around, doing a little shopping and fulfilling my desire for a lobster roll! Then we headed home.

I’m grateful we were able to make it out there and spend a few days celebrating the life of my grandpa, a wonderful man who meant so much to a lot of people!

Hope everyone is having a safe & happy 4th of July and that you’re able to enjoy some time with family and friends.


About Lindsay

Lindsay Livingston is a Registered Dietitian and new mom from Columbus, Ohio. On her blog, she shares simple, healthy recipes, nutrition tips, workouts and snapshots of her life. Follow her on Twitter @LeanGrnBeanBlog and Instagram @TheLeanGreenBean and be sure to subscribe via RSS or email so you never miss a post!


  1. Awe, that sounds like such a great way to honor your Grandfather.
    He sounds like an amazing man.
    And that’s awesome you got to go back to his place and spend time together looking through all his old stuff. That must have been great to celebrate his memory. <3
    Lisa recently posted..What I Ate Wednesday – Meal Times

  2. Sounds like a great way to celebrate his life.

    And that letter should be scanned and framed so you guys always have it. That is truly amazing!
    Kelly recently posted..My 27th Year (Aka The Day I Turn 28!)

  3. That letter is hilarious (especially the last line). What a great keepsake. It’s incredible to go through your grandparents’ things, isn’t it? It gives you a whole new perspective and even more appreciation & understanding for them. I also love how you’ve used the word “celebration”, as that is really what it’s all about. :)
    Kelly @ Femme Fitale recently posted..I Love Burpees! -Said No One Ever

  4. I just got goosebumps reading that letter. So amazing!

    Z and I wrote emails back and forth while he was away on his yearlong deployment. I have them them all saved in a folder and it’s nice to look back at them every once in awhile. Letter writing/expressing your feelings that way has quickly become a lost art.

    Glad your Grandpa was a pack rat and that you got to read those!
    Kerry @ The Adventures of Z & K recently posted..4th of July Recipe Round-Up

  5. Glad you had such a great remembrance! happy 4th!
    Emma @ a mom runs this town recently posted..Happy 4th!

  6. Love that old picture of your grandfather – makes me remember mine, who served.

    And I feel sooo bad that you had to leave your doggies! I’m not sure what’s available in your area, but I work for a dog walking company in Philly and we also pet-sit. In fact, I just spent 5 nights with an adorable boxer! Oftentimes, it’s cheaper than leaving your pups at the vet/boarding and they get to stay in the comfort of their own home while you’re away. Plus, there’s no risk for kennel cough and all that other stuff that might happen while boarding (unless you go to a “doggy spa” or something – my sister takes her dog to one of these…it’s crazy!) Maybe something to check out the next time you have to leave for a day or two :)
    abby recently posted..Living Without Challenge

  7. That letter has got to be one of the sweetest/funniest things I’ve ever seen. Going through all of your grandpa’s belongings must have been a pretty amazing feeling. And although dealing with death is never easy, I love how you’re celebrating his life instead.

    Happy 4th, Lindsay.
    Amanda @ .running with spoons. recently posted... WIAW … beating the heat .

  8. those are great memories, ones that make you savor in your mind forever. We did the same when my grandma passed away. ANd yes, we celebrated! because the life they lead was genuine! hugs friend. happy 4th!
    lindsay recently posted..Tis YOUR Season

  9. Isn’t the history of family so amazing? When we were downsizing my grandma we went through all of her things too. Unbelievable.

    I am glad you were able to spend this time with your family!
    Madeline @ Food Fitness and Family recently posted..Independence Day

  10. I’m sorry to hear about your loss, but glad to see what a wonderful weekend it was celebrating his life!! I love old school pictures – especially of grandparents so very in love!
    Linz @ Itz Linz recently posted..Happy July 4th!

  11. Sorry to hear about your grandfather’s loss but it definitely sounds like he had such a full and loving life! My grandma’s husband/my great uncle (my grandma married my grandpa’s brother after he passed away!) is 95 and has outlived many of his friends. He’s still holding on strong but as we cleaned out his old shop over the last few months, it’s been fun to see some of the finds hiding away.
    Katie @ Talk Less, Say More recently posted..A Moment on the 4th

  12. That was the most adorable letter I have ever read!!

  13. Glad that you were able to celebrate your grandpa’s life!!! That letter is awesome!

  14. Lindsay, I’m sorry for your lost but comforted by the fact the ceremony was a beautiful one. A life well celebrated indeed. You grandpa sounded like a very loving, passionate and wonderful man. Thank you so much for sharing those pictures and personal stories with us. xoxo

  15. I find it wonderful that you titled this “Celebrating Life” because it shows that you are all focusing not on his death, but on all the great things that he had accomplished and experienced during his life. Still very sorry for your loss <3
    The letter is absolutely adorable and so are the little Bean pics! :)

  16. Glad you’re enjoying some family time! What a beautiful letter :) Happy 4th Lindsay!
    Maggie @ Sunnyside Up Smile recently posted..Foodie Favorites #1: Dark Chocolate

  17. so sorry for your loss, but it sounds like your grandpa lived a full life. what a way to honor him & spent time with your family in the process!
    Sarah K. @ The Pajama Chef recently posted..Book Review: Sweet Sanctuary

  18. It was so wonderful to be together again as a family. What a wonderful tribute to my Dad. I hope he is smiling and realizes how much his saving all this stuff meant to all of us. Love you.

  19. I’m glad that you were able to go back. Those are some great memories that you were able to uncover and discover, especially that letter to your grandmother. So glad that you were able to spend that time together as a family celebrating his memory.
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted..All About Pie

  20. HUGE HUGS!!!!!!! So happy you had this time for memories!!! I know this too well so all I can say is that you never lose the feeling of loss but in time the good memories over take the sadness – HUGS!!!

  21. I’m so glad you had such a great way to honor and remember him. Looks like a special few days!
    Laura @ Mommy Run Fast recently posted..Let’s meet for coffee

  22. That letter is priceless. What an amazing keepsake!
    Sorry to hear about your grandpa. Big hugs!!
    Heather recently posted..Bruno Is In My Top 5

  23. What an amazing man. This reads like a story or an old movie. I wish I had the opportunity to meet him, I love talking with older folks, they have so much to teach us. What a gift that he saved all of the letters and photos for you. I am so sorry for you loss, I know he is watching over you, he had that kind of strong and loving presence… just like his gbaby, who btw was an absolutely adorable little bean!
    Lisa @ RunWiki recently posted..Coach Brett’s Zinger Track Workout and Mizuno Wave Sayonara Review

  24. What an amazing thing to get to go through all his old photos, etc. That’s a gift. I’m very sorry to hear about his passing, but it truly sounded like a celebration of life, which is wonderful. Hugs!
    misszippy recently posted..Sweetgreen fun and fitness event

  25. WOW! That’s amazing. I love the letter from the friends…priceless. I didn’t read through the comments, but my suggestion would be to bind the letters and pictures together for a love story book. You could provide it to the immediate family members as a keepsake. Or that’s what I would do.
    kristi@runkwrun.blogspot.com recently posted..June Foodie PenPal

  26. Beautiful post Lindsay! Those are some great photos…Life seemed so simple back then. I am sorry for your loss, but it seems like it was a good trip to celebrate a happy and long life of an amazing person. :)
    She Rocks Fitness recently posted..GUEST POST with Brittany Nettles for WIAW!

  27. What a sweet treasure trove of letters and photos. I am so inpired when I see a love story like that.

  28. This is so wonderful. I’m sorry for your loss, but it sounds you framed it as it should be: a celebration of a life well lived! The photos and letters are priceless. Really enjoyed hearing about your time back home.
    Meredith @ DareYouToBlog recently posted..Bring Healthier Holiday Treats


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