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Grandpa

I stuck in a Judds tape (yes, I still have cassett tapes, lol) while I was working out today, and this song has been stuck in my head all day long,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kOCpxj1uPOg

This song makes me think of my grandpa sooo much - I've been thinking about him all day, and decided to sit down and write this story about him.  It's funny, just a minute ago I realized, he's my last grandparent living..  I'll try not to get tears all over my keyboard as I write this.

I was lucky enough to grow up with both sets of grandparents, got to know one set of great-grandparents very well, and can remember two other of my great-grandmas (I was old enough to remember them before they passed).  When I was born my great-great-grandma on my dad's side was still alive, and we have a 5 generation photo (though I was too young to remember her).

But it is my mom's parents that I got to know the very best.  This is the grandpa that I'm speaking of here. 

There are just sooo many memories, I'm not sure where to start.  Of course the place I always think of is the farm where my mom grew up, which is also the house my grandma grew up in.  It's been in our family for 5 generations, now.  My grandparents were grain farmers in southern Saskatchewan, as were their parents.  My grandpa's dad came from Iowa in his late teens or early 20s (this would be somewhere around 1915, give or take a few years) to claim a new peice of land being offered by the Canadian government to pioneers willing to break the land.  There he met my great grandma, and they had a family of 3 boys, one of whom was, of course, my grandpa.  He was born in 1924, and will turn 84 in June.

He grew up with very meager means, of course this was the horse and buggy days, and they didn't have much - think Little House on the Prairie - just like that.  It was a hard life, but a life full of love and family and good friends.  He married my grandma in 1944, June 9 (I was married to my husband on this day, 54 years later!).  They ended up taking over the farm from my grandma's parents, and lived there all their married life until 1994 when they retired from farming, and my cousin and her husband moved into the farm house.  There they raised two daughters, welcomed 4 grandchildren, and then went onto enjoy 10 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.

My grandpa is quite the character - always the life of the party!  He is a people lover, and loves a good party.  He plays the guitar, and we have so many wonderful memories of everyone sitting around and singing song after song while grandpa played the guitar.  He can yodel somethin' else... one of my favorites "The Cattle Call".  He'd also sing "The Big Rock Candy Mountain" to us all the time when we were kids.  Another favorite "High Hopes" (you know, about the little ant and the rubber tree plant?).  And "You Are My Sunshine".  So many of those old, great songs..

I could just go on and on, but this is getting pretty long already, so I'll just say my grandpa is one of a kind, very special to all us grandkids and great grandkids alike, and I feel so very grateful to have gotten to know him so well and have so many, many wonderful memories with him and my grandma.

Dee67 Dee67 41-45, F 2 Responses May 31, 2008

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I wish he lived closer (he lives about 5 hour drive away). Also we're going thru the same with my dad, here, so it's tough. I know what you mean, though... seize the moment, live every day like it's your last chance... these are the lessons that the dying and death teaches us.

Thanks, sweetpea. I'm so sorry about your grandpa - it's such a loss to lose a grandparent. My grandpa actually has cancer - he's holding his own right now, but we just don't know how long he may have, so I talk to him on the phone when I can and just saw him a couple of weeks ago - have to enjoy every single moment!