My grandfather was an amazing man, and he's had such a massive impact on my life. Even though he passed a long time ago, I still feel his influence. Especially as I've gotten older, and things he said to me as a kid are so true.
Let me tell you a little about my grandfather. He lived through the depression
, worked in the coal mines, where his leg was crushed in an accident. He ended up losing his leg years later. He owned a shoe store in a little town called Price, UT, where my father was born. He was an incredible family man; married for over 60 years, always there for his daughter and son (my father), and all his grandkids. I'm not sure how on earth he put
up with my grandma as long as he did, but he did with a smile. Don't get that wrong; she had a softer side, and I think my grandpa knew precisely how to bring it out in her.
I want to think he passed that on to me because I could undoubtedly get my grandma to open that softer side, especially when we had family dinners.
He was a jokester no like no other, and I'm one hundred percent convinced I got that from him.
Here are just a few examples.
We would go to the store; he would park in the accessible stall, then take his keys and leave them on the front seat. He said. "I pay insurance; if someone wants it, they can have it."
We would go into the store and get everything we needed. Then as we got to the line, my grandpa, with a straight face, would look at the person in front of us and say, "do mind if we go ahead of you? I have a cake in the oven."
Here I am trying not to laugh my butt off because I know he's joking, but they would say yes most of the time. Then he would laugh and say, "I'm just kidding; how are you.
I will tell you, I'm the same way at the store to this day, and I have met some great people because of it. Thanks, grandpa.
We would have family dinners with my grandma and grandpa; after dinner, everyone would sit around and visit for a while. Everyone would have coffee, even my brother and I, and our little cups were mostly cream, but we still loved it. My brother and I still love our coffee.
One night, my grandma was ready to go home, but my grandpa wasn't. When my grandma went to the bathroom, my grandpa took the car keys with his little smirk and dropped them in his fake leg
When my grandma came back, he said, let's find the keys, and we can go. My grandma was looking everywhere for the keys (he usually left them in the car), she couldn't find them anywhere, and she was not happy. My grandpa was sitting, enjoying every minute of fun. He finally said to my grandma, "grab my leg, and I'll help you look." That's when she realized he knew they were there the whole time, and she let him have it. He laughed and said, "we can go now."
He was always doing something funny; he was an amazing man, and I miss him.
My grandpa saved mine, and my older brother butts a few times. We were so thankful he was around when we were kids and doing things we probably shouldn't have been doing. He was quick to tell my father, "before you punish them, remember when you did to our house?" My father would say, "yes, and I hear what you are saying." Whew, thanks, grandpa; we needed that one.
My grandfather could build anything; he finished the basement in our house. He made wooden stools for everyone in the family, and I still have mine today. I know my father and older brother have one as well. I wish my younger brother would have had the opportunity to get to know him.
If your grandparents are alive today, I encourage you to spend time with them. If you're a grandparent now, I implore you to make time for your grandkids.
He would take me to baseball and hockey. On the way, he would say, "are you hungry?" As a kid, I was always hungry; he'd stop to get me a hamburger, and off we went.
One time, he was taking me to a baseball game, and my grandma was with us. She said, "we don't have the time he's going to be late," my grandfather said, "he's hungry and needs to eat, and we'll get there in time." We were at Dee's restaurant getting a hamburger; my grandma said: "we only have five minutes to get there; he's going to be late." He just smiled, pushed on the gas, went flying over the curb, and said: "I'll get you there on time." I'm laughing so hard, my grandma is yelling at him, and he has this little smile on his face.
In case you are wondering, I made it on time.
He loved to tend to his garden in our backyard. He would come over at least four times a week to water the garden. Every time I was home, he would give me a little pack of lifesavers and two (.25 cents) bits.
I remember my brother and I helping him till the garden before he planted everything. We used this old till that you had to push, and it was so hard. I swear he used it as a kid, but he loved it. We would till the garden, so there were five to seven rows where the water would feed everything he had planted.
He would have me grab the hose, put the end of it in one of the lines we tilled, then turn on the hose. He would grab one of the wooden stools he made, sit down and ask me to sit with him.
These were some of the best times of my life as a kid. We would talk, and he would take his leg off most of the time because it was so painful for him. Once the row was full of water, he would say move it to the next one, and I would. Then I'd come right back and sit next to him.
He always asked how I was doing and what was going on in my life. How's school, grandpa "it sucks; I'm not a good student, and the other kids learn faster than me." He said, "it's not how fast you learn; it's that you learn." He always made me feel good for being me and made sure that I know I was special just how I am.
Ok, wait, I have to move the water to the next row. I'll right back. Ok, I'm back.
I could tell him anything; no matter what I told him, he would always put a positive spin on it but made sure I learned.
My grandfather had many quotes; here are the ones I remember. I want to share them with you, and then I'll provide a little context.
Life is like a roll of toilet paper; the closer you get to the end, the faster it goes – I was around 10 years old; we were sitting in the backyard watering the garden talking about life. I do not remember what I said, but he looked at me and said, "enjoy life. It goes fast, especially the older you get" enjoy your time being a kid.
I went to bed young and woke up old – I stopped by my grandma and grandpas one day, I don't remember the reason, but my grandpa was slowing down. We were at the kitchen table, having toast and coffee (a family tradition), talking about life.
Life gives you the test first and lesson after – I told him about the big hockey tournament I just played in; we were in the championship game, and it went to overtime. I went on the ice to take the faceoff, I lost it, and they scored the game-winning goal. I felt horrible, like I had let everyone on the team down.
Why are the more horses' asses than horses – My father told me this one, and he said my grandpa always used to say to this. When you stop to think about it, it makes a lot of sense because there are a lot of horses' asses.
Time is the best gift you can give someone because you can never get it back – Whenever I sat in the backyard with my grandpa, he would always thank me for my time. I asked him one day, why do you always thank me. That's when he let me know how valuable time is.
A busy mind is a good mind – I was a sophomore in high school when one of my friends was killed in a car accident. We were sitting in the backyard, and I told him what happened. He said, stay busy and keep your mind occupied. It will help you get through it.
The trick to life is playing a bad hand well; anyone can play a good hand – He told me this when I was a freshman in high school, one of my friends was very wealthy and got anything he wanted. I was so jealous; he said: "of what?" My friend gets whatever he wants. That's when he told me, "you have nothing to be jealous of," he was right just took me a long time to realize it.
All these quotes continue to be a part of my life, and I hope they bring you some comfort if you ever need it.
Thank you for taking the time to read my post.
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