He was the only man in my life that was constant. Any so called Father figures, came and went. But my Grandpa was always there. To support me, to teach me, to scold me when I needed it. He was gentle, well bred man, self educated (he always regretted not being able to go to college) He was artistic, Musical, was in the Barber Shop Quartet. He was a Craftsman, He made all the cabinets and built-ins in both homes he and my Grandma lived in. Their last home, he practically rebuilt. He was a avid reader, watched P.B.S. instead of regular TV, he played the harmonica.He was so talented in so many ways that I could go on and on, but he would consider that to be bragging-So I will leave it at that. He always had a pep in his step..he whistled whenever he was walking along, or working in his workshop, or gardening.
|My Grandpa, my little brother Richie in the front, brother Darryl hugging Grandpa, and Me in the green striped shirt.|
He taught me so many things, things I repeat to my own children today and say to them "My Grandpa always said"
Grandpa believed that an education was the most important key to success. On a personal level as well as your career. He said that a person should learn something new everyday.That you were never completely grown up and never knew everything. That to dream and to hope..was what kept a person alive and moving forward in life.
He would bring the Readers Digest to Sunday dinner when I was a child. It had a vocabulary section, if I could memorize the list, spell each word, and use it in it's correct form in a sentence. He would pay me $1.00 for each word. Needless to say, I studied that list each and every week. Not so much for the money, but the look of pride on his face when I could do the whole list.
I was his only Grand Daughter for most of my childhood, so our bond was different than his bond with my brother's. I knew I was his special girl, and I think he knew how much I needed a positive male role model. In fact- I lived with my Grandparents for 1 year, when I was 13. I wouldn't have admitted in then..but it really was one of the best years of my childhood. Except for the location (they lived in a very small town of 300 people)
I was blessed to have him for as long as I did.
My Grandma and Grandpa were married 72 years when he passed on. He left her behind and her heart was broken to say the least. I can say this with conviction. My Grandparents had the absolutely best marriage of anyone I have ever met.
Not to say they didn't have their tiff's and differences. But they had deep love and true respect for each other. They treated each other with kindness and consideration, respect and love. Each and every day they were together. They never went to bed angry. My Grandma told me when I was first married "Never go to bed angry, even if you have to stay up all night. And never let each other leave without saying I love you" I'm sure my Grandparents had many sleepless nights. Grandpa always told me "Of course we argue...if a couple doesn't argue it means they don't care enough to bother..so arguing can be healthy as long as you do it with respect of each other"
Let me tell you ..honestly..there's no possible way to compete with a marriage like that. It's no wonder my own Mom has been married 5 times. With the ideal couple right in front of her, as a model..She was most likely doomed to fail..because the harder you try to re-create that ...the more likely you are to fail.
Now my Grandma and the rest of us have been without him a year. Life does go on, a little lonelier, a little sadder..a little wiser..and a little closer to seeing him again.
With much gratitude for all you gave to me, for the guidance, security, patience and love ..Till we meet again Grandpa...I bid you adieu <3