My huge Irish Catholic family is from Delaware. The thing you have to understand is, Delaware is a small state, and there is an understanding that if you are a political figure, you show up to local events, football games, and in this case, a funeral.
  1. My grandfather had cancer for 3 years. I was scheduled to go see him Friday because my uncle informed me his time was short.
  2. I got a call while grocery shopping Monday afternoon from my uncle telling me my grandfather had just died.
  3. Did I mention I'm 7 months pregnant with my 1st child?
  4. I am devastated.
  5. The viewing will be Friday, with a funeral Saturday.
  6. I recall everyone being somber. Not sad, there were just no words to describe this massive loss.
    My grandfather was a silent Titan. He was a Aeronautical Engineer for NASA, worked with the Top Secret German scientists after WWll, had credits at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, Professor at U of D, and you would never know he was the smartest guy in the room. He was always reading in his hammock, he drove us to every museum from Delaware to Philadelphia, he was an excellent cook, and swimmer. (Can I miss him anymore in this moment)
  7. The day of the viewing visitation came. We came an hour early to view my grandfather for the last time. It was the first time in my 27 years I had seen a deceased person. Being 7 months pregnant, and distraught from my grandfather's death, I was having outbursts of crying, then numbness.
  8. As people came into the room, I was surprised how many people were young. My grandfather was in his late 70's, I just assumed a handful of older people would come to pay their respects. I was shocked upon going outside to get a breathe of fresh air, there were people wrapped around the whole building. The wait to pay respects was 2 hours long.
  9. Students he taught, co-workers, old and new friends, distant family, community leaders, had all come to tell us what an impression he made. We were shocked by the outpouring.
  10. As I stood outside with some cousins, the strangest thing happened. 5 black, SUV's pulled into the parking lot. Curiously, men with ear pieces and suits all jumped out at once.
    This is surreal, I can remember it so vividly.
  11. Then out pops, VP Joe and Jill Biden. I see them get out and greet their son, Beau Biden, who was just arriving as well.
  12. Now, this is important to me. It is a small detail but so important in showing character. I was within ear shot of VP Biden and his secret service detail. They wanted him to go right into the building, give his condolences, and leave. Remember, there is a 2 hour line, and they are at the end of it.
  13. VP Biden, said no, they were not going to bump everyone who was waiting in line, they would wait like everyone else.
  14. He spent 2 hours in line, talked to every person who wanted to talk to him, and was the most gracious person I have ever met.
  15. He and his wife kneeled in front of my grandfather's casket, kissed my grandmother and spoke to each and every grandchild.
  16. He rubbed my belly and asked if I was having a boy or girl. He asked if I was okay, or needed anything. He wiped away the tears from my cousins face. It was such an endearing moment, and it was so genuine.
  17. I've actually heard many stories like this, the woman on the side of the road who was trying to call tow trucks, only to have one show up with a message from VP Biden saying he was in a hurry to get to a meeting or he would have stopped himself, but he saw her there and sent the tow truck at his cost.
  18. I love this story because I think we forget, you may not agree with someone's political views but that does not make them a bad person.