I spent a lot of this Christmas season thinking and replaying memories of my grandpa in my head. First let me tell you about my grandpa. He was hard and firm. He swore with the best of them. He was a deputy sheriff in our county. If I ever rode my bike on the wrong side of the street, oh yeah I caught hell from Grandpa. Grandpa had his opinions. You didn’t change those. He was hard headed, but had the biggest heart in a man. So here is my word picture of my grandpa. Cop who spoke, drank and smoked. He was the first to tell you if you did wrong. He was a man that I immensely loved and my heart shattered in a million pieces when he died. He was a man that is bigger then real life and I still have a deep ache of loss for him. Thank god for memories and pictures. I would love to share just a few.
Last weekend we went to my family for Christmas. We stopped at the cemetery and I visited my grandpa.
He loved Christmas so much. He would do a small light display. It was segregated. The manger scene, Angels, choir boys were on one side of the yard. Grandpa would then put his frosty, Santa and such on the other side.
He let all of us kids pile on him on Christmas morning. We did our picture by the tree every year. We are up to 17 people now with spouses and kids. We still have the group picture. I always feel there is a big gap. Grandpa should be sitting there.
Grandpa was so stubborn. I remember when his hearing got bad. You could hear the tv outside. You know it was our fault. We mumbled or didn’t talk right. Boy does that sound familiar. He would give so much of himself. He was a volunteer driver for the county. He was high up in the Legion. He was a Mason, he was an army officer veteran. He was a man I was so proud to call grandpa. I have one of his rings it is dented for him hitting it on the table while he was making his point. That is the kind of man he was.
Grandpa and grandma would take us on a vacation every year us grandkids. We would go in the motor home and it was so fun. Everything was planned. I can remember my cousin and I would have to go in the camper and make a drink for grandpa. We would hand it to him and he would ask us if it was good. We would taste it and just shudder and he would laugh at us. Pure fun!!
Grandpa was so proud of me when I went to college. He and grandma would come visit me and take me out to dinner and he would ask about every class I had. He was genuinely interested. They came to New Mexico to visit when I went to school there. There was such a deep connection.
I just had this ache in my heart this Christmas that Grandpa should be there. He should know my kids. He should be here to yell at them, set them straight and then hug them and sit on his knee. I sure hope he is watching. I hope I make him proud.