my grandpa had a heart attack this week. my parents married young and had children immediately, which has given me and my siblings the honor of growing old with four very wise individuals. my grandpa is the key to so many of my childhood memories. he slipped me smarties in the pew at church to keep me happy as a young child. he introduced me to my very first pink box of doughnuts. he always had a comb in the bathroom to smooth is well-styled hair that only recently has revealed his age. he used to let me squeeze his finger tips, and with each squeeze he'd wiggle his false teeth in some funny way. i think i sat in his lap into my early twenties playing that game. he taught me the importance of keeping a well-kept yard and always helped me understand what to do with certain plants and trees. he was my easter bunny for years. he'd let me pick the ripest raspberries from his bushes even if it meant he didn't get any. and he sat with me time and time again to watch big on vhs. i'd cuddle up close and breathe in the smell of his aftershave and watch tom hanks tickle those large ivory keys, and we'd laugh and laugh.
but more than all the memories, my grandpa taught me two valuable lessons. he taught me what a marriage should look like. he and my grandma have a marriage unlike anyone i know. it is a love forged with hard work, lots of laughter, some pain, plenty of joy, and thousands of memories. he also taught me the importance of family history. whenever i call my grandparents, i know i will find my grandpa either in his yard pulling weeds or in his genealogy room researching names. his determination has helped him connect our family to so many of our ancestors. i only hope to follow in his footsteps someday.
i don't mean to write this as a eulogy because in truth my grandpa is stubborn, and he's fighting that dang attack. he's responding well to some of the treatment, and we are all pulling for him to come back to us. he's a real treat to have around. so my mind is there while my body is here, and it leaves so little room for blogging.
please be patient. and please keep my grandpa in your thoughts.