It's hard to know where to begin when I think of who you are, how much I love you, and what I love about you. Memories are a good place to start....When I was 4-ish years old I spent the days at your house in Park City while Mom and Dad were at work. Grandma introduced me to Sesame Street, and you introduced me to slip knots, the polarization of magnets (those two ladybug refrigerator magnets would not stick to each other - amazing!) and the game I Spy. You played with me and sat in the back yard with me and we talked about things. I can't remember the conversations, but I remember sitting there with you and treasuring that time. You wore white t-shirts and often came home with dirty hands from working at the gas station/mechanic. You had a black lunchbox with a silver thermos, both of which Grandma faithfully filled for you every day and which you took to Beech, where you worked faithfully for 40+ years.
You called me a "pill", and I could not understand how that word could mean silly or mischievous. I was a little offended to be compared to something that was small, white, and chalky (okay, you were right on 2 out of 3). On the 4th of July everyone gathered at your house and you (and others) helped me to not be afraid of the sparklers, in spite of your childhood encounter with a lit firecracker in your pants, which I'm sure was burned in your memory, among other places. I remember you and others cranking the ice cream maker, taking turns when you got tired. I remember riding in the car with you (in the front - this was the '70's!) and telling you that you were supposed to hold the steering wheel absolutely still, not turn it back & forth a little as you drove. I remember getting stung by a bee, but nothing else about that incident; you remember every detail.
You worked in the yard with Dad at our house on Nottingham. The two of you put in a brick path and put together my swing set, if I remember correctly. Fifteen or twenty years later, you tried to help me change a flat tire in your driveway in the pouring rain, but I asked you to stay inside and keep dry. At that point I'd had a lot of experience changing flats, and I'm pretty sure I changed that one in 3-4 minutes - perhaps that skill came from you!
You have a beautifully simple heart and mind, but you also are one of the few people who understands and enjoys my sarcastic sense of humor - and you dish it right back to me! Perhaps I also got that from you. We love joking together, and some of my best belly laughs have been with you.
Thank you, Grandpa, for sharing yourself so generously with me and others. You are truly wonderful, and I am so grateful for you!
PS: The above thoughts are mine, but I TOTALLY copied the writing style for this from Jessica's letter to her son, Corbin! To read that beautiful letter, grab a box of tissues and visit www.mommyalwayswrites.com.