Wednesday, December 9, 2009

In Which I Remember My Grandfather

When I think of my grandfather, I think of Christmas.

Every year around Christmas time when I was growing up my grandfather would adjust his glasses, pull on his heavy red plaid flannel coat and his boots, and we’d head down to the local Christmas parade. We’d usually get there a little early and find a place to stand somewhere up close to the front. The high school bands would march by, the floats would pass, and all of the little kids (and some not so little) who were throwing out candy to passersby would run up to us, place a double handful into his hands, and whisper to him what they wanted for Christmas. He would nod gravely to the children and the candy would disappear with a faint crinkling sound into the large pockets of his coat. I used to think it was horribly unfair that my grandfather ended up with so much more candy than I did just because he looked like Santa Claus.

And he did look like Santa Claus; from his rosy cheeks and his white beard right down to the gold Turkish elf-shoes with the turned up toes he kept on the mat by the front door. Rather on the thin side for a Santa, perhaps, but one glimpse of his mischievous grin would convince almost anyone that Kris Kringle, when he wasn’t delivering presents to children across the globe, masqueraded as a retired dentist-turned-gardener who lived in a mid-sized suburb of Dallas with his wife and yellow lab, enjoyed fishing, spoke Chinese, and played a mean game of pool.

My grandfather passed away quietly today after a slow decline over a period of months. I won’t be able to make the funeral, but my heart will be in Texas this weekend with my grandmother, my father and his sisters, and the rest of my family.

So a merry Christmas and much love to you, Papa Daddy.

It won't be the same without you.

~Jess

13 comments:

Sweet Lorraine said...

I feel the compulsive need to point out that Count was a very large yellow lab, but that is in the end so very far beside the point. I wish you could be here to grieve with us, but am so glad you have Jeremy there with you. I miss him so much, but I've missed him for quite some time now. The finality is so hard though. I'm glad you chose that photo with which to memorialize him. I actually made a very large print of it back in April or May. Maybe I'll get it mounted and/or framed and bring it to the funeral service. I think it's a rather nice shot of him, in the way I like to remember him.

Greymare said...

You're in our thoughts and prayers.

Kristin said...

Oh, I'm so sorry to hear this Jess. I lost my grandfather this year too, an know how hard it is. I'm glad you have such great memories of him.

therextras said...

Sincere sympathy, Jess.

I did not attend the funerals of 2 of my grandparents due to distance and the needs of my own family.

This is a beautiful tribute. Your grandfather left a wonderful legacy in his family. Barbara

Julia O'C said...

What a dashing, distinguished looking man! I'm so sorry, Jessica.

xraevision said...

What a lovely tribute to your grandfather, both the photo and the memories you've shared. I'm so sorry for your loss.

MFA Mama said...

It sounds like your grandfather was a wonderful man. I'm sorry to hear of your loss. Thinking of you. xox

Galen said...

What a loving tribute and wonderful photo. My sympathy to you and your family.

Niksmom said...

I'm so sorry for your loss and sadness. My grandfather has been gone a very long time but I still remember him as the giant of a man he was to my little girl self. He hung the moon. I'm certain yours did, too.

Sending hugs.

Terena said...

what a beautiful story about a beautiful man. I am so sorry for your loss.

RoseAnn said...

{{{Hugs}}}

My heart goes out to you. It's apparent from your post that, although you can't physically attend his funeral service, you are with your family in spirit and he is with you.

TC said...

My usually-just-a-lurker condolences, Jess. To you and the rest of your family.

Also: Awesome photo of your grandfather. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Chloes Mom Mary said...

Jess, I am so sorry for your loss.

 
Blog Directory