Friday, May 30, 2008

we love you too...and that's the truth

Last week I heard my dad tell me that my Grandpa (his father) had passed away. I'd never heard words like that before so the feelings were all brand new. I've been blessed to have both sets of grandparents alive and relatively healthy for my entire life. This past September we all gathered together to celebrate my Grandpa's 90th birthday, not knowing it would be our last time all together.

My Grandpa was a great man who loved the Lord very much. He had a love for helping people that was humbling to those who crossed his path. He never met a stranger and welcomed everyone with a hug. He loved to fish, send letters, and mow yards. He ended every conversation with, "We love you too...and that's the truth." He'd normally say it before the other person had a chance to say, "I love you." I always thought it was funny...looking back I appreciate it. He knew I loved him...but it was more important to him that I knew he loved me.

For as long as I can remember my grandpa made a hobby of sorts of going to funerals and weddings. He would average about 3 a week...and that's on the low end as he got older. He knew it was important to be there for his friends, co-workers, church members, distant relatives, etc. He would find the announcement or obituary in the paper, cut it out, and paste it to one side of the paper while typing a message to the family on the other. Someone told my aunt this past weekend that he probably spent our inheritance on stamps. He was a good man and genuinely cared for other people without needing any sort of attention. That's the kicker to me. He never needed attention. He was happy to just give.

When he saw you...wherever it was - the grocery store, the church parking lot, or even just entering from one room in the house to the next he would say, "where you at there pardner?" It was his own version of "what's up?!" He was a great cook, a dedicated husband, and a strong provider for his family. He scuffed his feet when he walked and his hands were rough. His heart was big and his love for others overflowed to all. I'm kind of jealous he is in Heaven but I'm excited to see him when I get there and hear him say, "Where you at there, Emily? Gosh dog it's good to see you."

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