Thursday, August 6, 2015
I have the kindest, most loving grandparents. One in heaven and two just miles down the road. As a little girl I was blessed to spend a lot of time with all of them. Enough time that I knew when we moved away that I needed them.
My Grandpa Jean was a teacher. From time spent with him in the classroom, I think he was one of those gruff teachers who was also tender hearted at the same time. He loved history and singing. He was never able to turn away a stray cat and fed every one that found its way to his back door. In third grade one of my assignments was to write a letter to someone. I picked him. My teacher mailed it for me and two weeks later my grandfather wrote back. We continued that way for 20 years.
Those letters closed our geographic distance and opened our hearts to one another. He knew me better than I knew me. He knew that I was going to end a romance before I did, knew when I was floating and needed help. In those terrible moments after learning he was gone his letters were the first thing I reached for and it was from them I gained the most comfort.
My Grandpa Boyd and Grandma Dene have been a home for me my entire life. When I was very small my grandmother took care of me. Later, when I was older, I would come stay with them for a couple of weeks every summer. Those weeks were the best of my childhood. We would go swimming, fishing or do nothing at all. While my grandfather was at work, I would sit on the floor of my grandmother's sewing room, reading and chatting all day long. It is because of her that the sound of a sewing machine is, to my ears, the most soothing noise on earth. It is also because of her that I am a knitter. After having open heart surgery, she decided to knit a sweater for every person in our family. It was over 25 sweaters. Sitting near her as she worked I realized that she was stitching her love for us into each sweater and I decided to do the same for my little people.
My Grandpa Boyd was a pharmacist and, like most of his profession, he is a quiet man. He is also the kindest, most gentle human being I have ever known. He is a talented photographer, I have spent hours going through every album he has filled. Most of his photos are of his family. He lovingly documented our lives for us.
The most precious and important thing about my relationships with my grandparents is that they have never hesitated to point me in the right direction when I have lost my way. My grandmother always reminds me to pray when I need answers and to thank God when I have received them. My grandfather continues to teach me by his example what it means to serve your family with your whole heart. I do not know who or where I would be without them.