Wednesday, January 20, 2010

an ordinary man

My darling grandpa just celebrated his 90th birthday recently. He's been on my mind.

I can hardly remember a time when he wasn't retired. I've always been glad that he got to enjoy a nice long retirement, and that he could be around so much for all of us to know him.

He is a very hard worker, and he installed that value in his children. He still takes care of his yard.

He was orphaned at a young age and was raised mostly by his brother.

He is incredibly handy. Grandma always said he could fix anything but a broken ear.

He has the most beautiful blue eyes.

He has a big sweet tooth, and always has a stash of candy around. Unfortunately, lots of it is candy I don't like -- circus peanuts and the like.

He has a great sense of humor. I remember him always telling me that something was "down the cellar behind the axe" with a big laugh.

He always had a wonderful garden. He would drive Grandma crazy by letting the zucchini get too big before harvesting it.

He tells great stories. The last time I visited, he told me about how he got into MIT and was an engineer in the Navy.

I can never remember a time when he didn't have a little beloved lap dog. Currently, that dog is a black poodle named Tyrone. He loves that dog, even though Tyrone bosses him around, driving Grandma to distraction.

He friended me on Facebook! That totally made my day.

He was a stake patriarch for many years. (Grandma tells me it's great to marry a patriarch if you can!)

We sometimes lovingly call him Puddingheart because he is such a softie. As soon as he sees you, he starts to tear up.

He and Grandma have been married for 66 years and have created such a legacy of love for all of us.

He always recognizes the Lord's hand in his life.

Not the best picture of Grandpa, but it shows him with his children (except Karen, who is in the hospital): Susan (my mom), Denise, Lee, and Patricia.

It's hard for me to think about Grandpa without also thinking of the beautiful song that my aunt Patricia wrote for him many years ago:

An Ordinary Man

An ordinary man
He says he's nothing more than just an ordinary man
And you might think you'd believe him
Though you'll never understand
How love can flow so gentle from an ordinary man

And there's magic in his touch
When I feel his arms around me
There is magic in the touch
Of his hands upon my head
And when I hear his soft command
I know that I have felt the special magic in his hands

If the government could know his worth
I'm sure they'd raise his pay
It's sad but true -- between me and you --
What a good man gets today
He tells me I am beautiful
That I'm his Miss Universe
I wish he wasn't taken, but my mother saw him first

An ordinary man
Still with his arms around me
An extraordinary man
When I'm headed straight for trouble
And I'm leading with my chin
He saves me from the crash
By flashing me that knowing grin

And if my Father up in heaven is anything like him
Then I would give the world to be with Him
For all eternity
And tell Him thanks for sending me
To just an ordinary man

I love you, Grandpa! You're anything but ordinary to us.


Melinda said...

THis is so sweet! It really is and it also makes me sad I never had any kind of relationship with either of my grandfathers. They were not the nicest of men and didn't want much to do with us.

He really does seem like such a sweet loving grandfather.

Jill said...

What in the world, he befriended you on Facebook??!

I have a great fondness for your grandpa because of all the kind things I've heard you say about him over the years.

Amy said...

Aw, Michelle, you're going to make me cry. What a sweet post about your grandpa! He sounds like a wonderful man.

Amie said...

I love this post. I love all the nice things you said... I love that he has been able to enjoy retirement. I love that he and your grandma still have each other, etc, etc.

Dad/Fred said...

He has been like a father to me. I have really enjoyed my relationship with him over the years. He is the one that got me into golf. He still pulled his golf cart around the course when he was 80. What a great man and example to us all.

Susan said...

I can echo every word you said. Such a sweet tribute to him, thank you.

I sang that song at his birthday party and could hardly get through it without a tear...just like him!
I feel so blessed to raised by a man who has never disappointed me, ever! That is a big thing that not many people can say.

But wait, he didn't "friend me" on facebook!!! I guess there are favorites! (Maybe he thought I wouldn't know what facebook was!)

A lovely, lovely gift of love to him from you.

Neighbor Jane Payne said...

Oh my goodness. This was very moving. I loved how it made me feel reading it, and then reading your mom and dad's comment just finished it off. Thank you, thank you for letting me see into this part of your world and getting to know your grandpa. He's lucky to have you as a granddaughter. What a heritage, what a posterity.

patsy said...

This IS a beautiful post!
Your family continues to amaze me. What a wonderful example to us all!!

jenn said...

circus peanuts?!! I love him already! I didn't think anyone but me ate those.

I say that I don't want to live to be 90 but I sure want my parents to, in hopes of establishing sweet relationships like this one with my children.

lelly said...

what a great post (and a great song!) when Grabbie passed away last year, Pop-Pop came to Southport to live with my parents. I am so lucky to have had my grandparents so much a part of my life for so long, and feel especially blessed to have this time now with Pop-Pop (he turned 98 in August!)

emily said...

This is just what I needed to read today. What a beautiful tribute. Our Grandpa is an amazing man. I second everything you say about him. We are so lucky to know him and to be able to be with him forever.

charlotte said...

I love our grandpa. Thanks for posting this beautiful tribute.

Natasha said...

What a beautiful tribute and hello, he Facebooks? My grandparents could not even turn on a computer!!

Denise said...

I wish you could have been at his party. One of the attendees commented on the nice program that Patricia put together, remarking how neat it was for my Dad--"It's like hearing and enjoying your own obituary, before you die!"

He is one great man.

Price Cream Parlor said...

What a wonderful post and tribute to our cute Grandpa!
I had no idea that song was written for your Grandpa! That is one of my most favorite songs! I use to sing that to my Dad.
You come from some seriously beautiful people, Michelle!

rebekah said...

You are very lucky to have him in your life. What a great tribute!

Amanda L. said...

It seems so ironic that the older WE get and the older our grandparents get the more we GET and LOVE them - and then they leave us. But I think they always leave us wanting to be better people and make them proud of us.

He sounds like a wonderful, wonderful man. Love that your friends on FB. I am always delighted when my 80+ Grandma responds to my blog posts via email.

Crystal Frost said...

This is beautiful. :) He sounds like a great man. That song is beautiful too, is it recorded? If it is please let me know who sings it I would love to sing it to my grandpa. Thank you! <3

singspiel18 said...

I sang that song in Young Women years ago and have wanted to do it in my ward forever. Is there any way I can get the music to that?

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