Sunday, December 12, 2010

Count your blessings instead.....

I grew up with one grandfather, because my other grandfather passed away before I was born. Grandad, however, more than made up for two grandfathers. I don't even know where to start.

I grew up hearing stories of our dad's idyllic childhood, traipsing around in the woods, riding camper tops down the river, sleigh riding off cliffs, and climbing trees, all under grandad's supervision--or should I say with grandad egging on and participating in the activities. By the time my sister and I came along, grandad acted shocked if we suggested any of the activities dad had told us about. He always said they were too dangerous. We gave him a hard time for forbidding us to do any of the "fun" things we had heard about.

We had our own adventures, though. We built dams and hunted for crawdads in the river. We went swimming at the local swimming pool, where grandad urged us to do flips off the side. We searched the woods for the elusive Little Pete. We climbed trees. We "worked out" in the basement. Between my grandparents, grandad was the early riser and we would always wake up in the morning to find him in the living room, reading his Bible.

I can't think of hardly an event in my life grandad ever missed--birthdays, graduations, Christmas plays, chorus concerts, proms, anniversaries. Nothing was too insignificant. He was always so proud of his children and grandchildren and loved all of us. He let you know it, too. I can't count the number of times in one visit or conversation he would say, "I love you, Leah. I love you so much."

When is the last time you ever saw an 80 year-old deadlift? Or jump off the diving board of a pool? There is no way I can fully describe to you how special grandad was and how blessed we have been to have him. Our family has been blessed beyond measure--to be so close and to have such wonderful parents and grandparents. They were both the perfect model of God's unconditional love. It didn't matter what any of us did--they loved us the same. I could never, ever ask for a better grandfather. If I had a choice, I would have never let him go. Ever. My heart breaks and rejoices at the same time, as I know he's meeting Jesus and being reunited with my granny. We will miss him forever, but I have one more reason to hold on to that hope I have.

Grandad, I love you. I love you so much.

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