Monday, February 8, 2016

We sure will miss him

Grandpa passed away this morning. I am so sad. Not for him, of course. He was ready. He was dissatisfied with life away from the cattle and the land.

No, I’m not sad for him, but for the rest of us. The rest of us will miss that strong man. Always ready to wrap a protective and fond arm around your waist and say “we” when he really means “I”. “You know, we sure are proud of you kids.” In the last few years, even a “We love you.”

He was the first adult to teach me what it felt like to be trusted. None of us ever wanted to disappoint him because he gave us the freedom we craved. Freedom in the form of money at the State Fair to spend and a few hours without adults around to do it. The keys to an old car and an open pasture before we knew how to drive. The reins to an unruly pony that he wasn’t sure you could handle.

Trust is what I learned from him. Because he trusted me, I began to believe that I was capable. I was willing to take risks because he seemed to think I wouldn’t fail, or that failure wasn’t the worst thing.

He was a farmer who kept horses and carriages. It didn’t make any sense, but he did it anyway. He didn’t care what other people thought about the things he did. He always knew better than anyone else. It’s one thing that most of us inherited from him, for better or worse. We tend to be the type of people who stick with our plans in spite of common wisdom. Common wisdom has nothing on us.

If you find us unwilling or unable to see when we’re wrong, you have him to thank. Of course, he gave us other qualities. Some got his ability to tell and stretch a good story. Some got his love of the land. Some can judge character in a person with stunning accuracy.

The thing we all got was the benefit of his love. For us, but most of all to witness the love he had for his wife. Over 70 years of starry eyed devotion. It will stay with us always. 

I am so glad I am one of his. We sure will miss him.


  1. My dear Laurie, A beautiful and fitting tribute to a much admired man. So sad for the loss the absence of his presence causes in the hearts of those who held him dear. Much love and prayers for you and all your dear family. Linda

    1. Thank you, Linda! And thank you again for coming. I wasn't surprised you were there because of who you and Russ are, but I was still so happy to see you.

  2. Casey sent me the link to this. What beautiful writing Laurie Jo. He sounded like an amazing man and someone to for sure emulate. I'm thinking about you and your family as you say your goodbyes. xo

  3. I am so sorry Laurie. I remember the stories you shared with me about your summers at your grandparents farm, and how those moments were some of your favorite. He sounds like a fabulous man. Heaven has gained an angle. Praying for you and your family. I love you.