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Gilbert Pacheco was an amazing person! I was privileged enough to have Gil as my grandfather for the past 22 years and not a day went by that I wasn't proud of him. Growing up, I remember spending a lot of time at my grandparents house, playing dressup and sleepovers and in the summer going for walks behind their house to find clay and down the street to the pond and of course going to the senior citizens club to visit all the "old folks". The past few years I have resided in Buffalo, NY and have not gotten the chance to spend as much time with my grandfather as I would like but made sure to call them frequently to check up on them and to fill them in on my life. My grandfather was a community man, he was always there for everyone. He would give everyone rides whenever they needed it, I remember picking up Mrs. Fisher even from when I was little to bring her to an appointment. He made himself available for everyone. Some of my favorite memories are of my grandfather at the Portuguese feast, seeing him walk so proudly in the parade with the Holy Ghost Brotherhood and of course watching him tear up saying "This is going to be my last feast so make sure you all come visit". I never pictured that a reality though. Every year I would tell him "don't say that" "you're healthy, you're fine" and he would reply "everyone passes away eventually". From my Dad, Steve: Grandpa was a wonderful man! Kind, loving, caring, dedicated, he loved God. He was always there when we needed him. His friends and family were so special to him. He loved his naps but was a hard worker. Someone told me recently that his eyes would light up when he talked about his kids and grandkids and even great grandkids. He always worried about us, everytime there was bad weather he would call to see if we made it to our destinations. I remember him dancing with Katie and Beth during our visits, he was a funny man dressing up in halloween costumes. Growing up, he took me to cub scout meetings, getting involved with everything. I remember one time we went on a canoe trip, it was so much fun! Grandpa had a special connection with everyone. If you wanted advice just call or visit grandpa. If you were down, he would cheer you up. Grandpa had class and really never complained. Sometimes he would just stop over our house in the midst of doing errands just to have a cup of coffee with us. I cherish those days. I miss him so much. Grandpa would do anything for us. From my sister, Katherine
I never showed it, but my grandpa was my favorite person ever. He was my true hero. I never told that to anyone before he passed away, I always thought people would think that it wasn’t true. I know I never went out of my way to visit him or to call him up, I was always afraid of showing emotion. Not keeping close contact with my grandpa is now the biggest regret of my life. My Grandpa was never afraid to show emotion, he loved and cared for everyone he knew. He was a sentimental man; he was never afraid to tell people how he truly felt and was never afraid to shed a tear. I don’t remember much about my early childhood, but I will always remember going to my grandparents house and going for walks to the pond with my grandpa and my cousins. I remember going to the Senior Center with my sister, Grandma and him, and most of all I remember him marching in the Portuguese feast with such pride. My grandpa had such a young and free spirit, he would always dress up with my sister and I and when I started dancing, sure enough he started dancing along with me. In health class we recently watched “Tuesdays with Morrie” as part of our Death and Dying unit, through out the movie, I noticed how similar the protagonist Morrie and my Grandpa were. Everytime I saw my grandpa he’d say something like “I’m starting to get old; this may be one of my last Christmas’”. Morrie and my grandpa both accepted that life was coming to an end, but they still greeted life with open arms. They were both so positive and inspirational.
On Saturday, December 6th, 2008, I was teaching my dance class, when I got a text message from my dad, telling me that Grandpa was in the hospital. I started to cry, deep down, I knew he wasn’t going to make it. All day and night I prayed and prayed and prayed for him to make it through; I asked friends and people I haven’t talked to in years to pray for him too. It was too late for me to visit him that Saturday, and my Aunty Denise and my dad promised to take me Sunday to visit him in the hospital. Sunday was too late. I woke up Sunday morning to my iPod-alarm clock, the lyrics “Make it a sweet, sweet goodbye - it could be for the last time and it's not right” were the first words I heard that morning. I woke up and went to say good morning to my mom, and she told me the news. I couldn’t believe it, I pushed and I screamed trying to fight the pain away, I couldn’t accept it, and I still don’t think I can accept it.
It’s been 4 months since he passed away, and not a day goes by when I don’t think of him. I miss and love you grandpa.
From my step-mom, Joyce:
One evening Gil called me up and asked me to be his "date" for some sort of Portugese benefit dinner. Apparently his wife Emily was not able to attend. He picked me up and we went to this dinner...he was a great date!!! He was so popular and we had a great evening!! I remember we sat with Uncle Manny and Auntie Joanie. I will always remember our "very special date."
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