I’ve been racking my brain to think of what to say about him. I’m usually not too stumped for words, but somehow I can’t think of just the right thing to say. I guess, if I had to try and sum him up in a couple of words I would say warm and joyous.
Warm… just the thought of him brings images of fun and home and happy to me. Snapshots from my life of moments with Grandpa helping me to learn to tie my shoes or teaching me to play backgammon or leading Kev and I on adventures around the farm when we were kids. Pictures of Grandpa and Grandma sitting there, paying attention, as Kev and I put on yet another play in the hay barn. The feeling that he was always interested in what I had to say, that he was always paying attention. I still feel that way when I talk to him. Grandpa with his sparkling eyes, really paying attention, wanting to hear what I have to say. Warm.
And Joyous… playing the piano with such verve and enthusiasm as I have never experienced with another person… dancing with his wife, or one of his daughter’s or, if I was lucky, his granddaughter, to some song or another in only the way that he can dance. Enjoying a great glass of red, a wonderful meal, a great book, and mostly time spent with any and as many members of his family he can be with. He brings the joy with him, lives it, breaths it, and shares it with everyone who is lucky enough to be around him. Joy.
I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve even seen him angry. I’m 45… that’s not many times. He’s easy going and knows how to enjoy the simple pleasures. He is probably the best man I know, have ever known. Hands down. No competition. He managed, with my Grandma, to raise seven amazing children. All of them spectacular in their own right. Who can say they were able to accomplish that? I am thoroughly amazed by him and so very very honored to be is granddaughter…
Grandpa… I hope you have a splendid 90th today. If I know you, and I do, you will love every minute of it because it will be spent with the people you love best and most… your family. I wish I could be there to give you a hug and tell you in person, but since I can’t know that I’m hugging you and loving you.
I spent today with my first grandchild Grandpa. I hope, with all my heart, that I can be as good at this as you have been. Because you’ve been fantastic at it Grandpa. A true master at this whole grandparent thing. I love you. Happy Birthday.