when gathering for granddad’s funeral no one’s vehicle tires turned into the yard similarly. even gravel sounded different as folks drove in and chose a place to park. the earth where his brown Ford pickup had been parked for nearly 70 years – until Uncle drove it away – had grass growing again, but had for nearly fifteen years, I suppose. I wonder if I’m the only one who noticed. I never asked.
who we are is decided yet ever flowing, correct? be the breeze; gentle and free be steadfast in image, thought and deeds, I see you, Mr. Redbird, I see you watching me among the debris. Your tweet insists following or even a reminder you’re near, but most of all its a sign I do know love, and hello new year.
Where did my thoughts go Back burner, they’d disclose Who chased me away A silly dream, I’d say How come I’m quiet Learning my place, but I digress What’s the plan To heal and begin again, I guess When will you emerge Today.
the concern within my eyes – twilight assumes as its own, my faith breathes. gone is nearly today, as dust billows life continues, work sets the pace the echoes of yesterday further behind, as tomorrow eagery awaits. Cicadas joyful within the trees, remembering to honor those before the sun sets, pups howl against the breeze. Light, use your glow, dusk determines goodnight – we’ll pause – alongside the tea kettle. The future, only God knows, yet I whisper ideas as the spirit of the day settles.
Today is going to be a hard day. We’re grateful to be together and we want to thank you for being here with us.
When dad asked if any of us wanted to speak my siblings looked at me, knowing I might just agree if they encouraged me enough. Earlier this week I decided I’d better get my thoughts down in preparation for a service but they didn’t arrive. Last night at 10:30 my words finally found me.
Grandpa had a son who arrived every morning for coffee – a confidant – a daughter who knew the best time to call for a long chat, – best of friends – and a son who made the best pancakes he’d ever had – a companion.
Do I talk about harvest, a good coupon for the grocery store or hearty breakfast food? None. These three knew their father. But did we…
All I could think of when I heard the news was how well Grandpa massaged Grandma’s feet with peppermint lotion every night in the living room. I think that sticks with me even today as a beautiful reminder of how precious love is but I knew there was more of the man I wanted to share today.
I guess you could say we were the first four of his eight grandchildren. The Nebraskans – first ones to test his nerves, to make him chuckle – in a way only grandpa’s do – and the first to ruin much of what he probably told us to stay away from. We were the first four to eat all of his M&Ms – even the ones hidden in the basement fruit room.
The next group of four grandchildren should thank us for helping Grandpa relax. Did he knock on the table harder or softer while playing cards with you guys? A man of few words and even less patience for shenanigans during card playing. Fairly certain it was a softer knock paired with a twinkle in his eye.
His two Kansas Girls, just down the street and his two Colorado Boys, who loved fishing just as much as he did – you four were his pride and joy.
We know for certain, as a retired Grandpa, he loved watching you grow up. His perfected Grandpa chuckle was all thanks to you and his opportunity to finally be there for his loved ones activities.
We feel pretty confident Grandpa Willard taught us all how to work hard. If there was daylight then there was time to weed the garden, move a water hose or tend to a flower bed. Grandpa ran the elevator and not a soul worried about how it was done. Grandpa always knew how to do things the right way.
Grandpa taught us to enjoy the thrill of the ride. A master at the wheel, he often took time to drive us for pizza. Pooches seemed to be his happy place. I can remember the pep in his step when it was time for a good slice of pizza or the largest ice cream cone you’d ever see. When we were kids, whether it was a trip for pizza, ice cream or supper in Denver, Grandpa always delivered.
Mostly, we remember how serious Grandpa Willard took his family responsibility. Not a one of us ever felt neglect or concern for our safety with Grandpa near. He loved his family. The joy across his face was something we all vetted for. Making Grandpa proud was quite an accomplishment. His expectations were to do our best, don’t back down and remember to take care in what we were put in charge of.
Grandpa Willard was proud of us all. The hand tap, the adoring eye contact and the tight hugs proved it. We watched him love his children, Grandma, and Dorothy this way. His love meant the world to all of us. There wasn’t much he missed or forgot. It may have looked like we weren’t listening, Grandpa, but we were – I promise.
Grandpa, when we got to your house yesterday you weren’t sitting in your kitchen chair waiting for us to pull in to the driveway, or looking for the prettiest finches in the backyard. You weren’t in your chair in the living room either. Its gonna take some time to get used to our new view.
We’ll do what we can to continue your legacy of hard work, a little fun and a lot of love for your great-grandchildren. We love you.