Sometimes I complain a lot. But I know how blessed I am. I have the best husband ever. I have the cutest baby girl ever. And I love my family. A ton.
I am lucky enough that I got to know and make memories with all four of my grandparents. I know that is a huge blessing that not everyone experiences (my daughter included). I’m also lucky because my Grandma Pat is still kicking it and will be turning 80 (!) next month.
[I wanted to put a picture here. I can’t figure out why it won’t load right. Maybe because I scanned it in at work. Or because I’m a noob blogger. Both? Anyways, imagine a picture of my grandpa holding an adorable baby version of myself.]
My Grandpa Dick died 10 years ago today. I think it’s safe to say he and my Grandma Barb were the glue that held our family together.
I have a very fuzzy memory of my childhood. Let’s be honest, I have a fuzzy memory of last year. It’s a problem. But I wanted to write about him before the memories got any fuzzier.
He taught me that family comes first and if you can help someone who needs it, DO IT. He was also so supportive of my dreams. When I wanted to be a writer (that seems so funny now!) he would read my stories and tell me how good they were. When I wanted to be a fashion designer (hahaha) he gave me paper and colored pencils. And boy, was he proud of his grand-kids! He bragged about us every chance he got! In elementary school I drew/colored a picture that was featured in an art fair. I thought it was good, but being a perfectionist in most areas of my life, I didn’t like the picture all that much. I found all the flaws. After the show that picture lived on the wall at my grandparents house. It is now one of my favorite possessions. Just because they loved it. He helped cultivate my love of the outdoors, camping, state parks, nature, the whole bit. He helped me earn many junior ranger badges.
What really got me thinking about my grandpa recently is my husband, Jeremy. He plays bass in a Christian pop rock band. His band played at a youth conference a couple of weekends ago. Avery and I went to watch them play on Saturday night. They played some worship songs that I remember from my days in First Light. I tried singing along. And it took about 3 words into the song before I became a mess of tears. This happens every time I try to sing worship songs in church. Every. Time. The last few years before my grandpa died, he “found God.” And he credited me with helping with that. Every time I would come visit he would tell me about the church he and my grandma attended and the people they were meeting and the songs. He loved the songs. He bought so many cds! And he would play me his favorites during my visits. It was so amazing to see him that happy. But now, ever since I’ve been going to church on a more regular basis, I can’t get through singing a song without crying. A huge, heavy wave of Grandpa’s presence floods me. I think it may be his spirit rushing to me to sing along. But it is so powerful and overwhelming, I just lose it.
And then, that night after the concert, I started thinking about all the things Grandpa would have loved about Jeremy. Grandpa would have, without a doubt, been the band’s hugest fan! Grandpa was a scout leader. I remember playing with the collection of compasses he would use for orienteering. And I knew what that word meant when I was little. Impressive, right? Jeremy is an eagle scout (do I capitalize that?). Now that I’m thinking about this I have a theory. Just humor me here. My grandparents moved when I was in junior high. They moved to the city Jeremy grew up in. A pretty small town. What if (remember, just go with it) Grandpa met Jeremy in passing. Or saw him working on some scout project at some point. And thought to himself what a fine, upstanding young man he was (because Jeremy is awesome). And then Grandpa thought that he was the kind of guy his granddaughter should marry someday. Maybe after he died he helped set it up that Jeremy and I should meet. That’s all I’ll give him credit for. I had to work hard after Jeremy and I met. 🙂 Sometimes it’s fun to let your imagination get away from you. But how awesome would it be if this was the case!
And then I got to thinking about what Grandpa is doing in Heaven now. How he spends his time. I’m sure he has made a ton of friends. I bet he and Grandma hang out with Jeremy’s mom all the time. I know that if they had met here on Earth, they would have been fast friends. I bet in Heaven they have a weekly game of cards. And the three of them are with our first baby. Watching out for him/her until the day where we are all together. They are the best guardian angels.
I’m sure I will write more about all my family members I love so much along my blogging journey. They are all wonderful and have great stories.