Thursday, May 8, 2014

Tribute to my grandfather

I will forever think of my grandfather every time I see Irish Spring bar soap.

He was a man of routine. He'd rise early, lather up and shave. He always used Crest Tartar Control paste. Nothing fancy, but he never had a single cavity until he was in his seventies. He'd make himself a simple breakfast, usually oatmeal or eggs with black coffee, and then he'd walk to the corner store to buy his newspaper. He always did the crossword puzzle with a pen.

He grocery shopped every Saturday and he always bought toilet paper, whether they needed it or not. He bought lottery tickets every week, and he'd let me do the scratchers.  He always had prune juice and hemorrhoid creme in the refrigerator. Bless.

He watched The History Channel religiously and loved Westerns. He only wore cologne to impress me and my mom, since my grandmother wasn't crazy about it. He seemed to tolerate her griping in order to receive our compliments. He had this perfectly delicious, mischievous grin he'd display when you called him on something. He'd raise his eyebrows and hold up one of his palms and tilt his head to the side when he was communicating something like an "I-don't-know" and "whatever" all mixed into one. It always made me smile.

He was short and stocky with a full head of gray, curly hair. His black eyeglass frames rested on unusually large ears. He passed those ears down to his daughter, his granddaughter, and several of his great grandsons.

I loved his hands. They were wrinkly and there was a lot of loose skin. His fingernails were rounded and always trimmed short. I refused to go look at him in his casket, but I could see his hands resting on his chest from where I sat. It is the last image I have of his body.

He was faithful to a partner who regularly took him for granted.

He was an affectionate father and grandfather. He showed his love in hugs and kisses, in piggy back rides to bed, in regular trips to the movies and ice cream shop, and in the way he would tell the people at his church, "This is my granddaughter, Amy. Isn't she pretty?"

He couldn't stand to see me cry. He got nervous when I took too long of a soak in the tub, and would come knocking to check for signs of life. His worrying was endearing, never suffocating. He would scold me if I went off to bed without remembering to give him his hug and kiss.

He would let me concoct all sorts of dishes in the kitchen, and he would eat everything I made, bless his heart. He never criticized something for being overcooked, undercooked, or just plain nasty. I marvel at this now.

He'd take my mother shopping and buy her earrings and it was easy to see how much he loved his daughter. I have one of those precious pairs in my possession now.

He gave out treats to the neighborhood kids before that was a creepy thing and everyone loved him. Really, everyone.

He wasn't perfect. He used to be an alcoholic. Even after Jesus rescued him, he would occasionally turn to drink to bring him some comfort, some numbness, from the harsh 

realities of life. He'd swear when he played cards.

But it was hard to fault him. After he'd had his snoot, he'd call my mother and tell her how much her loved her. I can picture him in my mind, sitting on the stool in his yellow kitchen, making those phone calls.

The man loved Jesus. And it showed.

He attended his Southern Baptist church faithfully, even when his wife did not go with him. If I close my eyes and listen, I can almost hear him singing along with the old hymns...

I wish he had lived long enough to meet my husband. I wish he had been able to hold my babies, to grin at their curly hair and their big ears.

It has been 18 years today since my grandfather joined the great cloud of witnesses {Hebrews 12:1} and entered eternity. I rejoice that He has received his reward, that he has finally heard those beautiful words, "Well done, my good and faithful servant."

I am looking forward with hope in my heart to seeing him again one day.

And when I think about meeting him again in Heaven, I can almost see it in my mind. He will hug me tight and long and then take me by the hand and say, "Jesus, this is my granddaughter, Amy. Isn't she pretty?"

I love you, Grandpa. Happy 18th anniversary of your homecoming. I can't wait to join the party.

~amy danielle

1 comment:

  1. What a good man. I loved reading about him.


Your kind thoughts...

Follow by Email