I don’t really remember when it was that you first told me that you read my blog, but it meant the world to me that it meant something to you. Your comments are my favorite.
It was like when we first got you a facebook, and you went crazy. You were connected to your kids and your grandkids in a way that you never had before, because even though we were spread all over the country (and at times, the world), you were in our lives.
I chuckled and told my mom about that one time when you emailed me because you saw a facebook photo of a guy with his arm around me. You just wanted to know who he was. I smiled because it was just an old friend on graduation day, but I loved how much you cared. And trust me, when there finally is a guy who’s putting his arm around me, you’ll be one of the first to know.
Remember when we went to the Father/Daughter Ball together? Dad took Mychelle, and I had the pleasure of being escorted by lovely grandfather. I wore my red prom dress. We danced, even though it made you really uncomfortable. I always felt a little bad because I thought I pushed you too much to do it. But you danced wonderfully, and I was proud to have you as my partner.
When I was a little kid, I always liked listening to you talk at holiday gatherings. I actually preferred it to playing with the other kids, unless you were talking insurance. That conversation always bored me, but other than that, I liked what you said.
I didn’t say much when I would listen, because I was mostly just learning and didn’t feel like I had much to contribute. But as I got older, I started talking too. I took so much pride in the fact that you actually listened to what I had to say and considered it valuable information. You can always tell when people listen and don’t really care, but you did. And even more than that, you listened like you thought what I had to say was intelligent.
I feel like that was a transitioning phase. When I was really young, you always played board games with Andrew and me. I schemed 4 way trades in Monopoly, inevitably taking advantage of Oma who always seemed willing to trade 2 railroads for something like Baltic Ave to please her placating granddaughter. We played Flinch and Clue and Junior Bridge too. You and Andrew always won the games, but they were fun.
So when I was little, we played games. When I got older, I listened to you talk. Then we talked together.
When I heard you were sick today, I was very scared. But the truth is, almost more than any hurt you were going through at the time, I was thinking about the day (whenever that day is) that you will go and literally hang out with Jesus for the first time. It didn’t mask any pain or concern about you at the hospital or how Oma was doing, but it was a transcending peace.
I’ve had the great pleasure of being born into a family where I’ve had two relational grandfathers. I remember talking to my mom about what kind of pastor you are. She always emphasized how good you are with visitation and showing your love to people.
I see that in how you take care of Oma, always putting her first. Whoever I marry is going to be a lot like you.
I love you Papa. Please get well soon.