When my Grandma died in 2009 I wrote and delivered the eulogy at her funeral. I'm not sure how I had the presence and poise to do that for her, but I knew I couldn't do it for Grandpa. Even as I sit at my computer to write this, tears are streaming down my face. How do I put in to words what he meant to me?
I remember Grandpa being present my entire life. My childhood memories of Grandpa are all attached to Grandma. Where he was, so was she. They attended our sporting events and band concerts. They never missed a birthday party or momentous occasion. Their presence in my young life was invaluable.
Dear ones, do you ever feel like you aren't doing enough for your children (or grandchildren or nieces or nephews or...) and that you can't get it right, no matter how hard you try? Let me give you a piece of advice. Show up. That's it. Just show up. Grandpa wasn't perfect. He was often a grump and sometimes spoke before he thought. He was human and he was flawed, but I can tell you that one thing the boys & I remember from our childhood was that Grandma & Grandpa always showed up. That means something.
As an adult I got to know my Grandpa on another level. I got to know him as a man and he became my friend. I helped as he cared for Grandma in her last years and then, after her passing, we spent even more time together. When Drew was deployed to Ft. Sill for 2+ years, Alex, Emma, and I spent a lot of time with Grandpa. I was helping him, but he was helping me, too. We had a special relationship that allowed us to keep an open dialogue as life changed. He knew that I would do whatever I could for him and I knew the same.
There are dynamics in any relationship and ours was no different. We butted heads sometimes. We disagreed on some things. He would get grumpy and I would get my feelings hurt. Okay, fine, sometimes I was grumpy, too! Those things happened, for sure, but I really value the time that I got to know him.
He loved the Lord and did his best to read, study, understand, and follow scripture his entire life. That is something I definitely have and will continue to hold as an example in my own walk with Christ.
One thing that I will always remember is how he loved my girls. He was pretty great at being a Great Grandpa. I might just miss that most of all.