Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Remembering My Grandfather

My Grandfather passed away yesterday. I knew this day would come. He has been sick for quite awhile. He has had numerous strokes in the past 2 years. He struggled to communicate clearly and he couldn't do much on his own anymore.

This was not him. He was always on the least the grandpa I remember anyway. He took us for walks, on drives, to Walmart :), to the skating rink (I wonder if Leigh Ann remembers, "Wanna couple skate?")...pretty much anywhere we wanted to go.

He let me drive his truck when I was only 14. We ended the lesson off-road, in the middle of a scared to death and him laughing. He said it could have been worse. I am not sure in that moment I believed him. But I do now. Life has a way of changing your perspective.

He defended me no matter what. And I do mean, no matter what. I was usually (read: definitely) guilty of whatever my grandmother was accusing me of. But my grandpa would walk through the door and scoop me up, tell my grandmother to leave me alone and carry me off out of trouble. Time and time again he would defend me...the guilty one. I used to think my grandma did not like, as an adult, I look back on those times and think, "No wonder! I never received the consequences I deserved when my grandpa was around." That must have frustrated my would me!

When we would go to the beach with my grandparents, my grandpa was always in charge of applying the sunscreen. But my grandpa didn't just put a layer of sunscreen on us...he lathered us up until we looked like we had about two coats of white paint all over us and not simply sunscreen. He must have gone through five bottles a day of sunscreen when we were there! Because we had to reapply often!!

I am glad he is now reunited with my grandma and able to walk and talk again.

This was him a few years ago. My kids and I went to visit and he had to take a break from playing ball with Caroline (see the next picture).

Caroline was always great with my grandpa. He did not scare her and she would crawl right up into his lap and sit...just like her mom used to!

He was showing her my uncles enormous dogs. She was happy to be held safely that day!

This is me, Caroline and my grandpa not long before he started getting sick. I used to sit in his lap like this all of the time when I was a little girl.

He always amazed me.

He helped my uncle build race cars. Real race cars. He knew Dale Earnhardt before he was the famous #3. He fought in WWII. He always bought American made. He called lunch dinner and dinner supper (I think...maybe it was the other way around...I don't know because my mom refused to call lunch anything other than lunch!). He was a hard worker. He loved hamburgers. He always wore a hat when he went outside. He always cried when we left. He gave the best hugs.

He was...Grandpa.

And he will be missed.

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1 comment:

  1. Paige,
    What a beautiful tribute to an amazing man. He sounds like he was a wonderful grandpa. I love the photo of him playing ball.
    How great that you have these memories of him. He was your defender, from grandma and the sun :o)

    I'm sorry for this time of sadness. He sounds like he was loved MUCH and still is.