Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Saying Goodbye to Grandad

My grandfather passed away last week, and it has been hard on my family.  He had twinkling blue eyes and a mischievous streak that ran wider than the Potomac River, at its broadest point.  I suspect I may get part of my own long-running mischievous streak from him (and the other part I get from my Dad).

Me, age 3 or so

My Grandad loved to tell stories that would get a rise out of you.  When my favorite food was chicken and stars soup, he told me if I continued to eat it I would have stars coming out of my ears.  I never touched the stuff again. 

He hung little Gumby figures from the ceiling fan in the living room, where it would antagonize myself and my cousins, because we wanted to play with them but couldn't reach.  
Once Grandad realized how much I wanted to play with the little Gumby, I started receiving letters in the mail.  Letters informing me of an official Gumby club that had been established, between him and my uncle.  It included pictures of them with an extra large Gumby, being measured by a ruler, and grinning these huge grins.  Oh how it tormented me - I begged my parents to take my to visit so that I could play with the giant Gumby too. 

Even though Grandad told funny, teasing stories, he always made you feel special, and he brought the family alive with his stories.  Because the stories were always geared towards, and about you.  Hearing him talk about you in these humorous tall tales showed how fond he was of you, and you knew he cared.  He thrived on making you laugh. 

Even on our last visit when I was consumed with trying to keep my boys out of trouble, Grandad pulled out his arsenal of Butch tales - the pug that I had growing up.  When I became allergic, Butch went to live with my grandparents, and I only got to see him when I visited.  Grandad loved Butch as much as I did, if not more, and the 30 year running legend of Butch lived on through Grandad's words and laughter. 

Grandad and I shared a love of the outdoors, camping, animals, teaching, spicy foods, and reading.  He and I both adored the book Turpentine.  I will miss his stories and his laughter, and his off-the-wall letters to my son Pierce.  

Rest in peace, Grandad. 

41 comments:

A Quiet Corner said...

Remembering your Grandad is such a way keeps him alive within your heart and for the boys. My deepest condolences, Baby Girl...:)JP

Texan said...

Your Grandad sounds like he was very special. Wonderful you have so many good memories of him to keep with you.

TexWisGirl said...

oh, lisa. i am so sorry for your loss. he sounds like a remarkable man, with a huge, humorous, sharing soul. God bless your family as you grieve...

Joe said...

Sorry to hear about your Grandad. My prayers are with you and your family.

GardenofDaisies said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. I can tell how much you loved him through your words here. Hope these memories help comfort you. Hugs.

Chatty Crone said...

Sounds like a wonderful man - hope my grand kids feel that way about me too someday.

I am allergic to Pugs too. But don't you live around a lot of animals at your farm?

Melodie said...

You are blessed to have had such a wonderful Granddad! I am betting his memories will live on in stories you tell your boys.

Jill said...

Dear Lisa: I am deeply sorry for your loss. Your Grandpa really sounds like a very special man. It's obvious to me that he lives on in you.

Samantha said...

He sounds like an amazing man..I'm so very sorry for your families loss.

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful tribute to your Grandfather. He sounds like a really neat and creative man. I do see how you take after him. I think the picture of you at age three is adorable. I will be thinking of you and your family and praying for your peace and comfort. Carol

Cami said...

Hugs and love to you. Many prayers for you and your family of strength and healing <3

Such a nice tribute to him.

<3-Cami from First Day of My Life

Amy said...

So sorry for your loss. Will be thinking of you and your family during this tough time.

Snapper II said...

I can tell he was special. God Bless, and Peace to Him.

Luisa Rodríguez said...

What a sweet post, honey.. I'm so sorry for your loss.

Many blessings.



mustbeliberating.blogspot.com

Jill said...

I am so sorry about your granddad. What a wonderful post as a tribute. I love the fact that your granddad was a great story teller. I think your blog shows how much you learned from him. He is alive in you. God bless.

(Florida) Girl said...

What a touching story. I am sorry for your loss.

I agree with Jill. Sounds like his love lives on in you.

Sonya Heilmann said...

Oh, Lisa . . . I am so sorry about your family's loss of your grandfather. He sounds like such a remarkable man.

I'm sure you saw this Leslie Marmon Silko quote that I posted recently, but I'll share it with you again:

"When someone dies, you don't get over it by forgetting; you get over it by remembering, and you are aware that no person is ever truly lost or gone once they have been in our life and loved us, as we have loved them."

He will live on in the stories you tell your boys. <3

Ginny said...

I'm so sorry. Was it sudden or had he been ill? I think you have made all of us wish we had met him!! It is a real blessing and mystery to remain childlike, but not childish, at such an age. You have written a wonderful tribute to him with these stories, and I think a lot of us would wish we had a grandfather like this. The Gumbies, and the chicken noodle soup, these are the kind of stories that should be handed down in a family, even written down, as you have done.

JDaniel4's Mom said...

He sounds like an amazing man with a legacy of memories. I am sorry for loss.

Meredith said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. Grandads are the best and yours sounds like he was an amazing man. May God give your family peace.

Sarah said...

Your granddad sounds like an amazing man. I'm so sorry for your loss.

Mere said...

I only met your Grandfather once, but I will never forget that visit. (I think he even brought up a few Butch stories.) He was definitely one of a kind. I love listening to Taylor share memories of his Grandad's stories.

I regret that we didn't go down to visit them more often, and that he never got to meet Grady. Keeping you and your whole family in my thoughts. I love being a part of your amazing family.

Michaele said...

Awww - what precious memories. Grandpas just know how to make memories don't they. What an important person in your life he was.

Meredith said...

So sorry...
:(
And I agree with so many other commenters... This is a beautiful tribute you have written to celebrate his memory!

*hugs*

Farmchick said...

Sorry to hear about your loss. A nice tribute to your Grand Dad.

Marissa ♥ said...

Lisa, I'm so sorry for your loss.
Your story about him is heartwarming.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Neat tribute to your grandfather, Lisa. I am sorry to hear of his death... Sounded like a wonderful man who had a wonderful life and family.... God Bless you -and the family.
Hugs,
Betsy

Angela said...

I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your grand dad. He sounds like he was a real treasure.

Hugs,
Angela

Grumpy Grateful Mom said...

So sorry about your grandpa. He sounds like a wonderful man. I loved your stories of him.

Andrea (ace1028) said...

Lisa, I am so very sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing such wonderful memories of him with us. Huge hugs. Xoxox

Sandra Orchard said...

What a touching tribute to your grandad so sorry for your loss.

QB @ Tales from Domestic Obscurity said...

He sounds like such a wonderful man! So sorry for your loss.

Tracie said...

Sounds like you have wonderful grandparents too, I am sorry for your loss.

An Irish Italian Blessing said...

He sounds like the perfect Grandad. I'm glad you have so many beautiful memories of him....and Gumby :) Sending thoughts and prayers your way!

Lexie Loo & Dylan Too said...

It sounds like your grandad was a wonderful man. I'm so sorry for your loss.

Mary said...

I'm so sorry about your Grandpa. There is something so special about our relationships with our grandparents. I have great memories of my grandpa too. I will always miss him.

Sending hugs and prayers your way darln

Nicole said...

Lisa I am so sorry to hear about your grandad.

He seemed like a great grandpa. Love the stories you told of him. What great memories to have!

Jen said...

Oh, Lisa, so sorry for your loss.

Kim @ Stuff could... said...

So sorry for your loss. These are great memories to keep

DogsMom said...

Sorry to hear of your loss. Sending condolences and hugs. You will keep the memories always.

Myya said...

So sorry for your loss Lisa. He sounds like a wonderful man.