Friday, May 8, 2009
I don’t normally ‘drink’ but today I am honoring one of my most favorite men ever. I don’t remember a day growing up where he didn’t have a Coke in his hand! Every morning when he would get ready for work, he would have at least six with his lunch. I think I realize now why Grandma always gave us her Diet Cokes…she must have had to spend a small fortune keeping Grandpa in Coke!
There have been many sleepless nights this week as I thought back on what I could share with you about such an amazing man. I will be brief in my words, but hope that you can feel what a powerful influence he was on my life, on all of our lives, and I would just like to share with you the five most powerful things I learned from him.
He gave me the blessing of the Priesthood in my life. In essence, Grandpa was not only known to my heart and to me by the title of Grandfather, but he was in all aspects to me a “father”. He was like a dad to me.
When I was a baby, he gave me my name and a blessing.
When I was very sick at the age of 2 ½ he came to my home one night, when I was a very very sick girl. I can remember some images of that night, he was one of them. There is no doubt in my mind that I am here today as a direct result from his blessing upon my head.
A memory of the Tabernacle in
The second thing that has stuck with me
throughout my life:
Grandpa was a mechanic. So it goes without saying that his hands were always “dirty”. It was a sign of hard work, the sign of a man who loved his job. The most amazing thing, and the hardest thing to watch over the past twelve years, was to watch his hands become clean over time. As I would go visit him at the VA, I would still caress his hands, hold his hands and compare mine to his…but the thing missing was the dirt. I could never get over my astonishment. I learned from my husband that if you are truly happy in a job, you will want to do it forever, literally. For my husband’s father he cuts hair. Someday he hopes to cut Heavenly Father’s hair. It is my hope that someday Heavenly Father will let my Grandpa work on his car so that when he greets me after this life that I will recognize his hands again because they will be covered in dirt.
The third thing he taught me?
How. To. Swear.
I recall many a Sunday afternoons waiting for Grandpa to get home from his church meetings. Grandma would have dinner ready and waiting for him. He would walk through the door, throw his scriptures and say, (and I am editing this because I am in the chapel) “Darn it all to hell!”
Other times we often heard, “Oh Shiz” or “Aww Hell”quickly followed by my Grandma’s “Lloyd!”
I guess living across from them as long as we did; something was bound to rub off.
I swear like a soldier at times, and I owe that all to my Grandpa…a habit, like Coke I am still trying to quit.
The fourth thing I take from him:
I was SO jealous of the day he took Marcus out and let him USE HIS CAMERA! Even at my tender young age, I saw how proud my Grandfather was of his beautiful camera. I too had that love, even back then. I have taken what he loved and made it my own, and to this day I find much solace and moments of reflection behind my lens. I owe my love of photography to him.
I feel so blessed to have inherited some of his talents.
Finally, and most important I take away:
When I learned of his “courting” my Grandmother, I am amazed. I am amazed to see their old fashioned love, and to have taken that into my own life. I love the story you will hear of the Seminary Social. Love his absolute devotion to my Grandma, and so thankful that I have found someone like him to love me for all eternity!
His love extended to all of us. Every single one of us in this family was loved and adored by him. I can imagine his happiness when his Grandsons were born…but I know that he no less loved each one of his granddaughters with the same adoration.
I was blessed to have spent so much time with him as a younger child. He and my Grandma were there for my mom and for us.
I am sure that there were times when he came home from work, and all he wanted to do was spend time with his beautiful wife…and there we were.
But he never let us know that. We never felt that.
He was always so loving, he let us watch his television and drink his Cokes…and he would play with us.
He taught me to sing to my babies.
He sang to me. He sang to me often, and in honor of him, and to give him my answer true, I want to leave you with the song he used to sing to me almost daily when I was growing up. I love you Grandpa. Until we meet again:
I’m half crazy all for the love of you.
I don’t need a stylish marriage…
I don’t even want a carriage.
We’d look sweet upon the seat of a bicycle built for two.”