Tuesday, January 7, 2014

My Grandpa Jim

Well, we are home to the frozen tundra. Admittedly, it isn't as cold here as in most areas across the states (including my freezing home town in Minnesota), but it's still a shock coming from 70 and 80 degree weather in Arizona.

While we were staying with my grandparents and great-grandpa in Arizona, my great-grandpa passed away. He was 91, poor of health, and has been missing my great-grandma since she died 14 years ago - so while he will be missed by the many who knew and loved him, it isn't a tragic or heartbreaking loss. He is happier now, and all of his children, grandchildren, and friends look forward to meeting him again.
In fact, his daughters and some others gathered together the night that he died and while there were a few tears, they were far outweighed by laughter and smiles as we joked and shared stories from his life.

Just that morning at breakfast he had smiled across the table and asked, "So what do you think? Is it worth it for me to even get another haircut?"
Oh, grandpa! How could we not tell that story and laugh?

(These pictures are from last February when we visited for my grandpa's birthday. I'm sure I have many more pictures around my house, but I actually spent a long time digging through letters for this post, so I have to be quick! It's time to go get some housework done!)

My first few years at college, my grandpa Jim wrote me semi-regular letters. If I took the time to respond to them or write him, I always had another letter in the mail a few days later.
His letters were always so funny and sweet.
Sometimes they told little anecdotes from his childhood or early marriage, sometimes they detailed all the food he'd eaten over the last few days. But the sentiment was always the same: he loved me. As I've gotten more busy over the last few years, I regret to say that our letter-writing dwindled to only once or twice a year.
I pulled out some of my letters from him though, and here some of the funny little lines from some. I got carried away, and couldn't stop giggling! Especially at all his comments about about dating his "lady friends."

"I am very pleased that you are at the Y. People don't want to believe that I have a great-granddaughters attending college, but I proudly state with emphasis I DO!! Tell me more about it so I can convince them. I tell them now to get a laugh that I started when I was eleven."

"I am now in the process of entertaining two ladies. One I have been going with for several months. I started out as her home teacher and somewhere in that capacity when I asked her out, she was quite emphatic to say "No, I will never go out with you!" But I'm such a smooth talker that we have now dated for over six months and she thinks I'm one of the great ones. She has been married three times, so I'm not sure what that makes me."

"I can almost jump from my apartment door into the pool below. There is a slight matter of height which I have always been wary of and my age hasn't inspired me to do something as crazy as that."

"I will be there -- Actually in body and not just in spirit. Of course, I will be there in spirit but still alive whereas I could be there also after I had passed on. Oh heck you knpo what I mean. (Sorry above the above error but z ism too lazy to try and change it. There must be a way ti change with out deleting and re-typing it but I am too illiterate to know how!)"

"I have a date tonight after my trip to the Drs and want to be clear of eyes and quick to be charming. Ain't life grand??!!"

"I love writing on a computer. I misspell a word and it gets underlined in red. Or if I do something wrong with the grammatical structure or the punctuation, I get another red line. Maybe that's the way life should be conducted. When you do something wrong there is a red line that appears on your forehead or somewhere that would be noticed so you could try to correct the problem. Or if you did something really wrong, the red line would keep repeating until you either corrected it or went to the Bishop and repented. That is enough, Jim!! You have philosophized too much for this child -- this grown up child."

"I could still enjoy going to dinner or a movie, but she doesn't seem interested. Doesn't she realize what a catch I am??"

"Is that a dangling participle? It's so long since I took any English classes, I forgot most of what I may have learned -- except spelling. I'm a good speller. I got stuck yesterday on the word, dilemma. I somehow thought it was dilemna. Here I am bragging about my abilities and I don't even know how to spell that word??!Oh well, I never claimed to be perfect - just almost!"

"Under most circumstances I would not have thought she would be my choice but when you look at the pickins around here, things get narrow.... Well, that made me turn on my charm and magnetic personality!"

"I'm sure Chris' house will be packed with relatives from far and wide and there will not be enough beds to sleep everyone. I have my bed reserved of course, and am not worried about you others. Selfish kind of guy, aren't I?"

"My life here is not very interesting. I sleep some of the time (Tuesday night I got up at 2:10 and was up all night -- breakfast at 6:00 and I tried to sleep? No luck.) So I'm afraid I will be pretty boring if all I can do is write about ME. It's my past that has things of interest, not my present. Maybe I should talk about my future, but I don't know what will happen there. 
Actually, that is pretty exciting -trying to figure out what will happen in the future. What is it like? What do we do? How will we eat, love, move, breathe?  On one hand I can't wait to get there. On the other, I don't want to leave the ones I love here. So, I guess it's all the hands of our Heavenly Father and he's done a pretty good job of me so far. My life has had a lot of really good stuff happen so we'll see what the future brings. 
As for you, you have your whole life still stretched out in front of you and that sounds pretty exciting to me too."

"So long kid! I sure have enjoyed you and hope the New Year is good to you and that you will excel in all you attempt to do. If I'm not around sometime in the future, I will be watching over you and loving you -- as I love you now!"

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Polly said...

If people think we are goofy or weird, now they know where it comes from. What a character he is! Thanks Becky this post is awesome.

MARCIE said...

Very nice Becky. I already forgot that haircut comment. He was so funny! How lucky we all were to have him.

The Stanley's said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Stanley's said...

That last paragraph made me bawl. How perfect to have a statement like that to help you through all the days of your life.

Unknown said...

I laughed out loud and then cried... A great combo! My heart is warm. Thanks for sharing those adorable snippets of grandpa Jim's happy heart.

Ad you probably know, Grandpa sometimes sent dirty jokes to his grandsons. I always chuckled when Nate shared the always hilarious and often inappropriate jokes he would get. I thought it was so cute that Grandpa did that.

Unknown said...

I laughed out loud and then cried... A great combo! My heart is warm. Thanks for sharing those adorable snippets of grandpa Jim's happy heart.

Ad you probably know, Grandpa sometimes sent dirty jokes to his grandsons. I always chuckled when Nate shared the always hilarious and often inappropriate jokes he would get. I thought it was so cute that Grandpa did that.

Angela said...

I've obviously never met him, but the last one made me tear up and almost sob. How wonderful to have all of those excerpts! I'm so sorry for your loss, but so grateful he knew the Lord! What an awesome day it must've been for him to meet Jesus!


Me and My Stitches said...

So sorry for your loss, but what wonderful memories you have of him! I just love the little excerpts you shared here! What a treasure he was!