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Celebrating 87 Years of Greatness

Dear Grandpa,

I had hoped to be driving right about now, but the stars wouldn't align so that the girls and I could come see you to say goodbye. Somehow that seems okay, though, because it's not goodbye we should be saying.

We should be saying thank you.

Thank you is the only thing you can say to someone who spent 87 years making the world a better place simply by working hard. I can stand here and tell the girls 39857319 reasons why hard work is important, but you chose to spare us all of those words. Instead of speaking to the message, you lived it. Whether it was digging in the dirt, making sure the house and yard were impeccable, or taking care of the kids, you did the work.

November 026

There was a time a few years ago when Alexis and I ended up in a conversation about you. She was maybe five at the time and she was telling me all about how you were her favorite. It's not nice to play favorites amongst great grandparents, but she was too little to think hard about that. Thus, I asked her to explain why she had a favorite.

"I like Grandpa because he sees me," she replied.

I understood what she meant then and I can say that it absolutely never changed. From the moment they were born, you always saw every one of the grandkids and great grandkids. They were visible and unique and special and you always took the time to make sure they knew that.

Thank you.

December 175

Thank you for seeing my kids.


Thank you for showing what being in love with exactly one woman for your entire life can look like.

Thank you for all of the teasing about not eating meat. No, really. It gave me a chance to show Alexis how to gracefully defend life choices and gave her the opportunity to see what "agreeing to disagree" should look like. (Sorry that 20+ years of teasing wasn't enough to make me cross over to the dark side. Except, I'm not sorry. More meat for the rest of you!)

Thank you for the primroses that I can't get rid of now. Who would have thought that a couple of little plants wrapped in a paper towel could eventually flourish so much that they would become a legitimate pain? I'm going to be trying to fight those things into submission for the rest of my life and that's okay because each time will be a moment to remember that day we walked around your garden and you nonchalantly handed me plants to take home.

Thank you for that day.


Thank you for showing that real men fix cars, change diapers, install hardwood floors, hand feed baby kittens, cut down trees, love deeply, and everything in between.

Thank you, sir.


The crazy vegetarian who now desperately wants to know the secret to keeping that red plaid shirt looking new for seven years.

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Reader Comments (2)

this was a beautiful tribute. what a good man.
thank you for sharing.

October 12, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterhello haha narf

Thank you for sharing this.

October 12, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMary
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