Today is the 4 year anniversary of my Grandpa's death. He was 91 and really healthy. He was taking Grandma, whom he was caring for in their home, to the eye doctor when he missed his turn, pulled to the right to then make a U-turn and pulled out in front of a car. He hit the side windshield. When the ambulance arrived he told the paramedics that he didn't want to go to the hospital, but when he layed down on the stretcher he soon lost conciousness and never regained it. Apparently he had bleeding in his brain and was too old to operate to relieve the pressure.
I came to the hospital the next day and pinched his big toes, told him to wake up, told him I still had things to ask him. Realizing that it wasn't going to happen, I told him I was OK if he wanted to go Home. I know it's not all about me. But he was once my best friend and I wanted him to know I was OK.
Grandpa was born in a farm house which I believe was built by his father. He grew up to farm the same land that his father farmed and that now my father and brother farm. Grandpa lost his dad and had to help his family survive. He never failed to work hard. He also gave of himself for his church, for his God and for others around him.
He loved his 2 kids and his wife and gave them a wonderful life. I was Grandpa's first granchild. He loved to play and tease and love on me in ways I can't even remember. But I remember that he taught me to fish. I remember that he helped me learn to do some work on the farm and in the shop. I remember that he helped me process some of my understanding of theology. I remember that he fostered my love for Southern Gospel music.
I used to go to Grandpa's and perform magic shows. I used to invite him to every music program, hit him up for every fundraiser, show him all of my accomplishments. There were a few times when I chose to go to Grandpa and tell him my failures. I always remember him being proud of me. Even when I failed he saw the good in me, pointed out the best about me and reminded me that it is in God's power that I move forward and make changes where I need to.
I wish I could still ask him questions. I wish I could still share my dreams with him. I wish I could still tell him my hurts and failures. I wish I could still fish with him. Life was so much richer when I was with him. I am so much richer having been a part of his life.
I hope that when my grandkids write on the 4th anniversary of my death that they can say half of the things about me that I can say about him.