Today marks a day that has always been special in my family: Grandpa's birthday. Unfortunately for us, Grandpa went to be with God a year and a half ago, two weeks before my wedding. He had warned me that he "might be pushing up daisies", and apologized if he couldn't come to my wedding. He had a sense of humor, even when things were bleak.
I realize I only knew him from a granddaughter's perspective, but what I came away with after watching him for 28 years was that he was an honorable man. He had a love with Granny that I hoped would happen for me someday (and it did!), and she still lovingly sat on his lap in the living room chair when they were older and grandparents. Of course he found a good lady, and she was his only concern at the end. He told me he wasn't worried for himself, but for her. I loved his heart.
But there were other things that were great about Grandpa. He was a hard worker. He taught me that unless you're five minutes early, you're late. He was known to claim that unless a movie had a horse in it (a.k.a. westerns), it wasn't worth watching. He was a steady rock when it came to his beliefs. And I particularly appreciated how he took time with me. He would explain to me for hours how plants, government, etc. worked, answering all of my questions. There was an unspoken rule that I always sat at his right side at the dinner table. He played online solitaire with me. He called me "Melissy" and gave me a big hug every time I came around. He made me feel special.
Today I'm thinking about how he would spend time in his shop, reading westerns in front of the wood stove on a cold day, and I miss him. Perhaps today we would've all been coming over for fried chicken and a birthday cake to celebrate his life. But, I'm still thankful for his life, and I know I'm not the only one that is looking forward to seeing his quiet smile again.