He had a head of snowy white hair gleaming in the room. Over his broad body, hung a navy bluedress shirt and a fuzzy cardigan sweater. He wore slacks, held up awkwardly by a belt, allowinghis small potbelly to hang over it. His face showed the years of worry and stress, and his whitebushy eyebrows and growing second chin showed his old age.
His smile greeted me. As I drewclose to him, his aging arms reached out and wrapped around my body and pulled me into a warmloving hug. As he released me from the hug, I said, “Grandpa, I have some news I want you tohear” as I plopped down in the chair beside him. “I wanted to let you know that I am gettingmarried,” I told him. The room was left in a dead silence, frozen for a brief period of time, as we recoveredfrom the intensity of the news I had brought him. Reaching for the remote to turn off the television, my grandfather looked at me.
Before he could say a word, the excitement of an unseen grandmother came from the kitchen. Both our eyes looked toward the cheerful light and the sounds of my grandmother’s excitemen tAs the excitement faded away, his eyes turned toward mine. Awaiting his comments, my eyeswere open wide. Excitement had filled my body, because of the news I had just brought him. “Wonderful, go ahead and tell me all about it,” he exclaimed. Well, I woke up this morning just as I always do, but this time it was to the ringing ofthe phone.
I reached for the phone and said “Hello,” and on the other end was my boyfriend. He said he needed to see me as soon as possible, so I said “OK,” and went to meet him. When I arrived at his house, he met me at the door and asked me to come in and have a seat on the couch,I was a little worried at this time. I sit down on the couch and he kneeled down in front of me on one knee, I just looked at him knowing now, what he was up to. This is what he said, “I know wehave been through a lot here lately, but I also kn ow that we can go through a lot more as long aswe do it together.
So, since I have said that, “I want to ask you a question. ” And he reachedover to the dark brown oak end table beside him and picked up what looked to me like a small black box. He looked back at me and said ‘Will you marry me,’ as he opened the black box toreveal an elegantly lavishing looking solitaire diamond ring engagement set. I didn’t know what to say at first, I was just too stunned, so I got my bearings and I looked into his beautiful soft brown eyes and said the only thing I knew I could say, “Yes!” He grabbed me up by the waist and puthis arms around me, almost cutting me in half with his grip, and looked in my eyes and said,’You’ve made me the happiest man alive. ‘ All I could do, because I was still stunned by theproposal, was just give him a big kiss on the lips and keep my arms around him as if to never letgo. When we finally broke apart and I sat back down on the couch, he took the ring from its small black box and placed it on my finger.
“We have not set a date just yet, but I know it will be soon and I will let you know assoon as we do. I have to go now, because I have so many others to tell,” I explained to mygrandparents. So I gave my grandfather and my grandmother a kiss on the cheek and headed outthe door. I stepped out of the warm house into the darkness and the chill of the night. Theevening breeze hit m y small body, sending shivers up my back. I instantaneously missed the warmfeeling of the house, heated by the blazing kitchen stove.
I hurried down the hill toward thewarmth of my own house. As I walked the short distance, my eyes rested on the branches of themany evergreen trees along the path. My mind focused on my proposal, and my life to come withmy fiancee. A smile formed on my face again, and the skip returned to my step. Opening the door to my housethe bright cheery light hit my face, I gleefully walked over to the phone and picked up the receiver and dialed.
Waiting for the other end of the phone to be answered, my day ended just as it began,on the phone. once knew a medium height man weighing around one hundred and fifty pounds. His grey hair was easily taking over. His pale green eyes and sunbaked wrinkled face showed years of outdoor work.
He was sixty-five and I call him grandfather. You could always count on a good conversation when you spoke with him. The years that he had of an unpredictable life that was thrown at him and the knowledge he learned himself came out only in words of wisdom whenever you had a problem. With a soft spoken voice and carefully chosen words he would be sure to set anything straight no matter what crooked path you were staggering on.
Being my mother’s father you always showed respect to him, and being disrespectful wasn’t tolerated. Grandfather always had a lot of love and admiration for every member of the family. You always knew you were welcome by the sparkle in his eye and the wide grin on his face every time you entered his home. My grandfather always had a soft heart for animals whether they were his own or not.
I remember going to his house one day and he was nursing a stray kitten. He had found it nearly frozen and almost starved to death. Anyone else would probably have made away with it, but not him. Grandfather had the poor thing for about two weeks until he got it back on its feet.
Finally, with health and strength regained, he set it free again. My grandfather would never pen in an animal. He said it was cruel, and cruelty he had no time for. When we were younger, and being the instigators that we were, we sometimes made our grandfather’s patience grow thin, but he surely let you know when they got there.
With a frowned expression on his face or his hand on your backside, he sent you home while saying, “Now get home to your mother. “Kindness is something that my grandfather had no matter what time of day, month, or year. His home was always a place to go and his door was never locked. Everyone was welcome. My grandfather was a hard working man.
He started young with a relatively large family to support, hard work never slowed him down. Being a very skilled sawmill operator, he did exceptionally fine work and everyone knew where the work was coming from. For my grandfather, precision was everything and there was no in between. This would prove worthy years later when he started carpentry in a little: shed just a few yards from his house.
The pride that went into his work really showed in the finished product. Money he had respected for and the value of a dollar he looked after. He always said, “a penny saved is a penny earned”, or “waste not, want not. ” Grandfather really enjoyed the outdoor life. He and grandmother would spend days up in their cabin along side the river.
Setting a few rabbit snares to have something for the pot the following day was something to look forward to. Both of them really enjoyed their quiet time alone. Being out in nature was just the place to have it. To my grandfather, family was everything and a stranger was always a good friend. He would have this way about him that a problem could be overcome and family was to come together in any situation. Family did come together on one particular occasion.
My grandfather passed away after a short illness. You could really see what was learned from my grandfather’s words, the pulling of the family together. My grandfather is truly missed by everyone still. He was a teacher of good moral values, a loyal father of thirteen children, thirty-eight grand- children, a faithful husband, honest and hard working, and truly respected by everyone.There once was a man I knew, and I called him “grandfather