A Tribute to Roy G. Mansur, Sr.



This is the text of a piece I am delivering at the Memorial Service for my grandfather on Saturday, January 30, 2010.

Good afternoon. My name is Jordan Sadler and I would like to say a few words in celebration of the life of my grandfather.

In recent years, I have gained an appreciation of the fact that I am the eldest of Roy and Dot’s 9 grandchildren. This is not because I have reaped any special benefits or felt favored in some way, but simply because I have been so incredibly fortunate to have these particular grandparents in my life for nearly 40 years.

With each stage in life, I’ve come to perceive and appreciate my grandparents in new ways. Perhaps this is universal. In the earliest years, they were the fun-loving people who took me to Mountain Park, spent special time with me at their house on Cape Cod complete with very complicated breakfasts on the deck, hosted fabulous holidays filled with treats, and surprised me on Halloween by arriving at my house in Hartford dressed as Little Red Riding Hood and the Big, Bad Wolf.

Later, in my busier teenage years, they were the devoted grandparents cheering me on from the audience at every event, from school plays to choir solos at church. They took care of us when my parents had to be away, and enjoyed many adventures – and maybe a few misadventures – with us. At every turn, they went above and beyond the call of duty for their family and friends, everywhere they went. I am certain everyone in this room knows exactly what I mean by that.

As I entered adulthood and started to see the older adults around me in a new light, I began to view my grandparents as separate people. You see, I believe I saw them as a single entity for all those years growing up. In fact, the first time I saw Papa without Grandma was one weekend when I was in my mid-20s. Grandma attended a WAVES convention in Boston and Papa stayed at Joyce’s house, so I took the bus down to Plymouth from graduate school for the weekend and joined them.

I was struck by a couple of surprising things that weekend. First of all, it turned out that my grandfather was incredibly lonely without my grandmother, and missed her a great deal, right from the moment she left. He spoke about her non-stop, talking to me for hours about the trips they’d taken all over the world and the volunteer work she was doing at the time in Springfield. This was the first time I realized that he wasn’t nearly as quiet as I’d previously believed, and also that his world truly revolved around Grandma in a way I hadn’t understood. I discovered it didn’t matter that they disagreed sometimes and even bickered about small matters, like driving directions. In fact, they were true partners. I like to think of them as a matched set. I didn’t see them apart again for many years and that was just the way they liked it.

Last Saturday evening, I stood next to Papa in the Emergency Room. He was very ill, and confused about where he was and what was happening to him. I tried to talk quietly about a variety of things that might soothe him, to no avail. Finally, I sat next to him and told him that everyone in the family wanted him to feel better. One by one, I named my grandmother, all four of his children, his grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Papa immediately turned toward me with complete, rapt attention. His eyes focused on me as he listened. He smiled, hearing the names of his beloved family, and was visibly more relaxed.

We remember and celebrate so much about my grandfather’s life here today: his fabulous sense of humor, his bright and inquisitive mind, his enormous dedication to the success of the Red Sox, and the sweet, quiet manner he had that made everyone who met him adore and respect him. But what stands out most to me was my grandfather’s love and strong sense of loyalty for everyone in his family, and most especially his unwavering love for my grandmother.

We will all grieve this heartbreaking loss in our own ways, and there is no right or wrong way to do so. I know that we will also honor Papa’s memory throughout our lives in very individual ways. But what I hope for most of all as I stand here today is that in some way, every day, each one of us will honor my grandfather’s memory by finding the integrity, generosity, love, and devotion inside ourselves and sharing it freely with Grandma, each other, and everyone around us. Because this is what would make him happiest of all.

May it be so.

August 27, 1919 – January 25, 2010

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12 responses to “A Tribute to Roy G. Mansur, Sr.

  1. This is beautiful. What a wonderful tribute. I think it is so magical to see partnerships like you describe between your grandparents. My aunt and uncle had that, and it was so beautiful to watch.

    Thinking of you on this difficult day.

  2. Such a beautiful and loving tribute. I think, Jordan, you have been living his legacy for years already. Apparently, you come by your love and empathy quite naturally. The world is a better place for having both of you in it.

    I think your Papa would be proud of you.

  3. So beautiful.

    Love before you.
    Love behind you.
    Love all around.

    xo

  4. upsidebackwards

    You do your Papa great honour with your love and thoughtful words. It’s a beautiful and very moving eulogy. I’ll be thinking of you, and wishing you strength and peace at this difficult time.

  5. What a great honor. You did good, my friend. And I know your Papa would be so proud.

  6. So very beautiful, Jordan. My thoughts are with you and your family as you grieve for an remember your dear Papa.

    And that picture of him? Lovely and sweet.

  7. Oh, my, this is absolutely beautiful. It is clear that you come from such good stock and that you take after your dear grandfather.

    Much love to you and your family.

  8. Just beautiull, Jordan. Thank you for sharing those words. And how lucky you’ve been to witness that kind of loving partnership.

  9. Thank you so much for sharing that with us. I have tears in my eyes. You’re right – how lucky you have been to have nearly 40 years with your grandfather. XO

  10. Jordan,

    Not only did you have the understanding that you needed to make the trip east, to be there for your grandparents, you offered comfort and support for both of them at the end of your Papa’s life, but to be able to articulate so beautifully, your feelings and insight regarding the power and connection they had with one another, and the rest of your family as well. A tribute to who you are, as well as what they mean to you, and also your boys are learning from you about family, devotion and how to love.

    Bless you.

    Claire

  11. that is so beautiful, jordan. i love love love the scene of you by his bedside, talking to him about those he loved. so poignant. a stunning tribute. xxxx

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