1 A Life Well Lived
This is nice... Grandpa Lu thought to himself as he lay upon the bed. His full name was Luis Ferdinand, but after being called Grandpa Lu by all his grandchildren for so many years, he simply accepted it.
Currently, Luis was in a hospital ward. A recent heart attack gave his family a good scare three days ago. Being seventy-four years old, such an occurrence was bound to happen eventually. Heart attack, stroke, liver failure... one of these was bound to get him for good in due time.
Luis was not afraid to die. As a matter of fact, he was actually quite looking forward to meeting his parents and brothers again. As a child, he was the youngest of four brothers, all of whom have entered the grave before him, leaving behind their beautiful families.
Luis figured it was only his turn at this point. Like his brothers, he also had a beautiful family. Two girls and three boys, now men and woman with husbands and wives of their own with their own children.
Life begets life after all... He smiled as he thought of the grandchildren. He knew it to be true that you were strict on your kids, but spoiled the grandkids. He remembered fondly all the times they would come over to visit. The mischievous smile he would give when he bought the grandkids gifts their own parents refused to buy, much to the consternation of said parents. So many fond memories.
Luis' own parents and grandparents lived through the first world war, which his grandpa died in, and the subsequent great depression. In fact, Luis was born a year after WWII ended, when his father returned home safely and immediately made up for lost time with his beloved wife.
Due to the times, it became a way of life to be frugal in order to not go hungry. As a result, Luis grew up with little to nothing to call his own. Promising himself that he would do better by his own kids, he saved up his money and started his own business in construction.
With the lessons taught by his parents and by life, Luis dedicated much of his twenties to growing his business. To say he was successful would be an understatement, and Luis was currently a very wealthy man. Eventually he found himself a loving wife and had five "infuriating" children.
Luis smiled warmly as he remembered the early years trying his best to make sure he didn't spoil his children while trying to be the best dad he could be. Looking around the ward at the family present today, he firmly believed he did a good job. All his kids graduated college in fields they all had passions for, which made Luis all the more happy since he sacrificed college to grow his business.
Now they were all successful and happily married. Luis already had his affairs in order, leaving behind everything to his five children in his will. He felt blessed that he could trust his kids to not squander their inheritance.
Blessed... yeah... my life was truly blessed... Luis agreed with that assessment. He had grown up in a loving household and tried his best to emulate that for his own kids. Once again glancing around the room, he felt a complete sense of satisfaction and contentment. His life was complete.
It might be impossible for a young person to understand, but Luis was ready to die. He was born, he grew, he lived, he created, and he would pass on surrounded by what he brought forth onto this Earth. He was ready to meet his forefathers and regale to them stories of his life and the lives of his children.
Looking around one last time, Luis noticed that his family were all talking and laughing among themselves while he was merely a side character. That's just fine. He was glad that his heart attack could bring his family together like this. Due to how busy everyone else's lives had become, it had been harder to get all the family in one place, even during Thanksgiving and Christmas.
But now, here they all were, together again. It had been years since a gathering like this of the Ferdinand family was held. Chuckling silently, Luis felt his heart attack was worth it for such an outcome.
Being as old as he was, Luis soon tired and fell asleep, comforted by the wonderful voices of his relatives. Three days later, Luis suffered another heart attack in the middle of the night, passing away silently in his sleep.
The funeral service was excellent, with each of his children giving a moving eulogy about how much their dad meant to them, making numerous references to their escapades as children. His several lifelong friends each described their time knowing Luis and highlighting humorous stories of his life eliciting many laughs among the tears.
As his coffin was lowered, Luis' wife cried silently, held in embrace by her children and grandchildren. At the base of the grave, the standard tombstone was inscribed an epitaph decided by his family after his death, with an additional line requested by Luis before he passed:
A faithful husband
A loving father
A loyal friend
He lived a good life
The grave was filled with soil, signifying his return to the Earth and completing the cycle of life. It was all well and good for good ol' Lu, for he passed with a smile on his face.