Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Happy Birthday Grandpa

Memories come in many shapes and forms, sometimes a song can take you back, a smell can bring to life a distant memory or certain days of the year can bring reasons to celebrate, reminisce or simply recall of time with loved ones who are no longer here.

Today I marked off all of the above.

7 years ago today, Cory called and asked me if I was 'available' for dinner. It's been a whirlwind ever since! Crazy romance, passionate love, fights, hard work and determination to make this marriage work! There is no where else I'd rather be and I'm so very grateful I said yes to him for that date, and I've been saying 'yes' to him everyday since. Today I celebrated 7 years since our first date.

Today is also my Grandpa Dean's birthday. March 23, 1919. He would've turned 92 today. He's been gone for 9 years, and it's hard to imagine how much has changed since he's been gone. Some years are better than others, this year was an emotional one.

I decided since my work is so close to where he's buried and it was so nice outside, I'd take my lunch and visit Grandpa. I grabbed a cheeseburger (after weeks of slim fast for lunch can I add how delicious it was???) as I sat next to my grandparents grave with the sun in my face, it felt peaceful and nice. It was very quiet, no traffic or radio or people around. I was thinking how much I've missed him and knowing how happy he is with Grandma and that on their grave it says 'Happily Married 48 years'. I decided it wouldn't be too crazy to talk to him. There wasn't anyone else there to think I was crazy for talking to a headstone so I thought 'Why not?'

I spoke my thoughts outloud and wished him a happy birthday, that even after all this time we still laugh about things Grandpa said or did during his last years or just funny quirks he had that no one else would know.
Then I asked for his help, something to this effect. 'Grandpa, I'm sure your busy and probably don't have much control over things that happen down here. But if you could spare some insight and send some strength this way I'd really appreciate it.' Nothing too serious, but I thought it couldn't hurt to ask. Then the strangest thing happened...feel free to skip this part if it's a bit too much for you....out of the calm sunny day I felt a breeze. Not too strong, just enough to brush the hair from my eyes. I really felt like they were there, telling me it would be ok, and I felt their love. Isn't it strange how the simplest of things can impact you? Like the breeze today with me. I finished my lunch and went back to work. I'm glad I went, if for nothing else to feel closer to my grandparents. So, in honor of today here are some things I remember about my Grandparents
  • He always would say 'Beep beep Burp' whether he had to burp or was just getting up from his chair. You'd have to know him and heard it before to understand, but it was something we had come to love.

  • He loved my Grandma Katie. I was very young when she passed away, and as I grew up and would visit, he would love to tell me about her and all the trips they took together. He called her 'lover.'

  • Whenever you'd visit him, you would usually leave with a check for $100. I don't know why, but he'd always pull his check book out and say 'Here, why don't you go to dinner on Grandpa'.

  • He always had a class of orange juice and vodka on his side table by his chair. He smoke Benson & Hedges menthol cigarettes and they smelled good. He'd leave a cigarette burning in the ashtray until it had a steady stream of smoke in the air and an ash about an inch long on the end

  • I remember his face as clear as day when he visit and tell me the same stories over and over. His skin was soft and had a lot of wrinkles. He was so skinny, I bet he didn't even way 90 pounds. He wore stripped snap button shirts, polyester pants and always had his check book and a pen in his shirt pocket.

  • When he was really sick and in the hospital, I went to visit him on my lunch. He wasn't really awake and had a oxygen mask on his face. I didn't think he could hear me and I put my hand on his arm and whispered with tears 'I love you Grandpa'. He squeezed my hand and mouthed the words 'I love you too.' With his eyes still closed.

  • He was a very successful business man and was generous to his grandkids. He paid for my college when I earned my associates degree, all I had to do was go and visit him to get my check every month. I'm so grateful for all he gave and did for me.

I love you Grandpa! We miss you so much!

The last part of today made me smile. My dad who isn't always open with his emotions or feelings, sent me a text this afternoon. Yes, he actually wrote a text! This is what it said and he'll never know how much it means to me.

'Thank you for going to have lunch with Pop it really meant a lot to me, I love you so much." Dad

Dad ~ You'll never know how much I love you, I cherish everything about you and don't know what I'd ever do without you in my life.

1 comment:

Melissa, Benton, and Cambree said...

Aren't grandparents the best? Reading this made me miss both my grandpa and grandma so much! It's the little things that mean the most to you in life. I'm glad you were able to visit him on you're lunch and I'm glad you enjoyed eating a cheeseburger instead of those nasty drinks :) I will say you do look awesome, so they must be working!!!

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