Day 25, Saturday: Something someone told you about yourself that you’ll never forget (good or bad)
It wasn’t so much something about me, as it was advice, that changed my life and stuck with me forever.
Always, always, be true to your husband. – Grandpa Bob
I had the very special opportunity to spend time with my Great Grandpa Bob in the last few years of his life. He was the most interesting man and let me tell you… I have yet to find someone with eyes that twinkle the way his did, a smile as contagious, and an outlook on life that was more positive.
To put it simply: I have yet to meet anyone as happy as Bob was.
I try to be more like him each and every day.
We sat together and chatted for hours and hours.
He sang, “You load sixteen tons and what do you get? Another day older and deeper in debt.” He was willing to answer any question. He ended most of his profound statements with a strong, “Period!” (“And that was how it was! Period!”) He may have had
moonshine some whiskey in his fridge.
We discovered that he and I have the same hands. I used to dislike my thicker fingers (Meredith got the slender, skinny and delicate hands of my mother’s side) but when I noticed that each of my fingers were shaped exactly like Bob’s, suddenly I loved my hands.
He told me he loved me. He told me that God would always be with me. He told me to always, always, be true to my husband.
Oh, and about his continuously positive outlook on life… one more little fact… he was blind.
Grandpa Bob had no problem talking about his own death, which he referred to as “crossing the threshold into eternity” and nothing else. We talked about heaven. He wanted his body to be donated to science, to help others with the same eye condition. He lived to be over 90 years old and his mind was sharper than a blade. (I hope I also get that gene.) Certain points in our conversation brought us both to tears. I suppose I get that strong emotion from Bob, too. We laughed hysterically and he told me outrageous stories from his youth.
He had Retinitis Pigmentosa, an eye condition that worsens with time until eventually, you are legally blind. My grandmother (the beautiful one who I had mentioned here) and uncle also have this.
They, too, are the happiest people I’ve ever met.
How is this possible? How can these three individuals, who were robbed of something as precious as sight, still smile wider than all others? How can they laugh, cry, and show emotion that seems to radiate out from them without them trying? How can they see so much?
I’ll never know and I doubt I’ll ever be as wise or gracious or sparkle the way they do. But I’ll never stop trying.
I’ll never forget my Grandpa Bob, his hands, or his advice.
(And I love you forever Grandpa Bob!)
May 25, 2013 at 2:50 PM
Awe!!! Great story!! As a tear falls from my eye! Love grandpa stories!
May 26, 2013 at 1:47 AM
How wonderful that a great grandpa and great granddaughter had the opportunities to connect as you did…and you express it so beautifully.
May 31, 2013 at 11:15 AM
What a beautiful tribute!