I often have spoken of my late grandfather...a man that I loved so very much....a man who could love anyone without thought...
Today would have been Grandpa's birthday. He would have been 84 years old....June 25, 1924.
I am thinking of him today, not just because it would have been his birthday or that I am lamenting his death 21 years ago, but for other reasons.
You see, Grandpa could find many reasons to laught...even in his seven year battle against first, colon cancer then the spreading throughout his entire body.
In his day, Grandpa loved to dress in his suits and enjoyed his daily clean up...he loved being a clean cut gentleman. My great grandmother told me about my grandfather as a child that pretty much summed him up perfectly:
"When he was a young boy, he hated getting dirty....he would always have a handkerchief in one pocket and a comb in the other. When he played marbles in the day, he would put down a piece of paper under his hand because he didn't want to get dirty...did the same thing with his knees. He hated getting his clothes muddy and dirty."
My grandfather was half Cherokee. (I think because there is definately Cherokee blood coming from his mother and I think there was some from his father's side...either way, I am 1/8th Cherokee and the rest is a combination of Scots, Irish, English and German, and the unknown which was my father's mother), he had this awesome skin that would tan in the summer and his neck would actually turn red (he was born and raised in southern Kentucky...so that makes a bit of sense..lol), his smile was amazing...I think that my mind always associates handsomeness because of his smile-it reached his eyes and he always found a reason to be happy or to make someone else laugh for a while.
His mother was beautiful. No one believed me when I told them that she still had black in her gray hair in the end...nobody believed me when I told them that her hair was past her waist at the age of 78 years old...until they had to cut it when she died. She was 78 years old, three years younger than her beloved husband, and he was 78 when he passed on to the Summerlands...my grandpa died 6 months before she did, and in my heart I know that she was way to healthy to died when she did...she died of a broken heart, her husband had been gone 3 years, and she had her children at least-until she had to look into a coffin bearing her first born son-even though he was 62 when he died, he was still her baby...her little clean boy and the second love of her heart....
I am thinking of all the things my grandfather has done in his life, and his love for me....and his ability to control a "spoiled rotten little blue eyed brat"....
When I was little I was prone to temper tantrums. When that would happen, my grandfather turned on the old home movie camera and I would jump up, dry my tears and start preening and posing for the camera....funny!! He would also get me just as I was about to smack my brother in the head...sometimes it actually stopped my from hitting him, sometimes not (actually what stopped me was when Len learned to run, and my mother gave him permission to hit me back-and ONLY me-BACK)
Grandma told us how she loved Grandpa, but there were times throughout their lives together that she would wake up in the morning and not like him...even wish he weren't there, but then she would think about how lucky she was because he was the most handsome man in the town, and he had chosen her over all the other women in the town-and there were many that were prettier...and she felt lucky to have him. This was a rare compliment for my grandmother to give anyone, but it was true....even as he aged, Grandpa was a handsome man. She said that marriage wasn't always perfect, and it wasn't just illness that can cause issues in relationships, but many other things...that it's alright at times to not like your spouse, as long as when you go to bed at night, you remember how much you do love them. My grandparents married when she was 17 and he was 18...October 16, 1946, he would bring her red roses every year on their anniversary and never forgot....when he passed away, Mom tried to do that for her, but it wasn't the same. I sent her whlte roses instead of red ones, and she loved that, but it still made her a bit sad, so I stopped (and I was broke half the time anyway lol).
Alright, I am rambling today...it's just that I am remembering a great person who shaped my life and my world.
Am I like my grandfather? I couldn't say...we have the same nose, and the same skin pigmentation in the summer....I wish I had his dark hair (I probably do), and his awesome eyes. I know I have his smile, and his zest for life....I want the world to have a reason to smile, even when the world is spitting nails at you!!
I also have some news to share soon...and I don't think some of it will be surprising to many that know me...the other will be great fun...I think...oi!!!!!