Friday, November 25, 2011

80 Years and Counting

Most of my life, I have been blessed to know and love all of my grandparents - even most of my great granparents.  It's only been in the past few years that has sadly changed. 

It's a hard thing to lose anyone you love, but part of the healing process for me has been an increased appreciation of my grandparents.  Especially as I age, I've grown so thankful for all the work and love and time they put into building thier lives and creating stable, loving, god-fearing homes. I love them all the more for the unseen ways they have made our family strong. 

My dad's dad, Grandpa Wayne, recently celebrated his 80th birthday.  I think of him as the strong, silent type, but he has a gooey center if you look for it. 

I lived with him and my Grandma Nell, who has gone on to be with the Lord, for about a year.  I was trying to pay down college debt, and they let me live with them rent free.  It was a huge blessing - it continues to be a blessing because of the financial freedom it allowed me to bring into my mariage.

One thing I'll never, ever forget about that year...I made a point of kissing my Grandfather goodnight, every night, without fail.  I thought maybe it was cheesy to him, but I did it anyway because I wanted to.  I loved to see him blush and jutt out his chin at me, as if daring me to try that again! 

One night in particular, I kissed him goodnight, and turned to head off to bed.  He called me back into the front room and he said something he'd never said to me unprompted.  He stuck out that jaw of his again and he said, "I love you."

For a mushy, emotional type, that wouldn't mean much.  But for Grandpa Wayne, he couldn't have made me feel his love for me anymore if he'd bought me a new car or walked a million milesin the snow...uphill...just for me. 

I recorded that lovely moment in my journal, but it's perfectly preserved in my mind's eye as well.  What a good, Godly mad is my Grandpa Wayne.  He's one of three very important men who have taught me what a real man looks like, how he acts, how he treats others.  Oh how thankful I am for him. 

Happy Birthday, Grandpa Wayne!  I love you too!

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