Monday, December 12, 2005

Yesterday was the third anniversary of my grandfathers death. Naturally, I spent part of the day thinking about him and reflecting on all that he imparted to my life. In my first memories of my dad's dad I was four or five and he was the same age he always was to me, old. He had made the 2,000 mile trip from Pennsylvania to Oklahoma along with my grandmother,aunt, and cousin just to celebrate my sisters and my birthday. It felt like we were the two most special girls in the world, thats how he always made me feel. They lived so far away and our time together was always so short that he and my grandmother squeezed in a years worth of love and hugs in the few weeks we spent together durring the summer.
When I was 16 I found love letters my grandfather had written to my grandmother tucked in a dusty box in a house the family uses for storage. (It's a marvelous old house, but that's an entirely different post.) The letters spoke of a love I had not yet experienced with words so beautiful I could hardly believe my grandfather had written them. In one line, he said "I know why the moon is so beautiful. It's because it's gleam is in your eyes." My grandfathers face turned several shades of red when I read the letters aloud to my girlfriends at a sleep over. He taught me that true love, the kind you see in movies, really did exist.
When he met my husband, he gave him some time proven advice. "Whatever she says. Whatever She does. The answer is always..Yes Dear." It's advice that my husband still uses today.
I am thankfull that for twenty-three years of my life I was able to get to know my grandfather and for the brush strokes he added to my portrait. I believe that all that we are is a combination of what is imparted to us through those we build relationships with. All that my grandfather imparted to me has helped to make me who I am today. I will always be gratefull for that gift.
I am thankfull that I was able to spend the last days of my grandfathers life with him; that our family was able to gather around him and one another as we all said goodbye. I am thanfull that in his final days he was not affraid of what awaited him, but was certain that he would depart from this earth and the confines of his body to be with Jesus. Lastly, I am thankfull for the pieces of him that are left in each of the lives he touched, for the stories my family is able to recall and share with one another, and for the happiness that fills our hearts when we remember him.


aola said...

What a beautiful story and a wonderful heritage.
You are blessed to have known him. I never knew either of my Grandfathers.

and I love the picture.

Thanks for sharing.

Sandra said...

I do feel truly blessed to have known all of my grandparents and three of my great grandpaprents. I know that many don't get that opportunity.
Thank you!

Kristen said...

Your grandpa sounds wonderful.

Mine passed away last year and I still miss him every day.

Sandra said...

It's hard when they leave us isn't it. Letting go is harder than I ever imagined.