Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Grandpa

My Grandpa was killed in a car accident yesterday. He was a fan of this blog and I want to pay tribute to him here.

This is unexpected and I was not prepared. Matt's GrandDaddy has been dying for two years, Lydia's Grandfather has been in and out of the hospital lately, and Will is at home with his Bub as cancer takes her health. But my Grandpa was still smart, jolly, sophisticated and spry and I was hoping my children would get to know him.

I don't remember any conversations I had with Grandpa when I was a kid. I remember him telling stories a bit, but mainly I remember the things he did for me. He built me a wonderful backyard playhouse when we lived in Tallahassee. He took my brother and I to the Tweetsie Railroad amusement park. He made me a dollhouse. He and Grandma provided extra money for my car and so I could go to college without worrying about finances.

In college is when we really started talking (or maybe just when I really started paying attention) - about what I was doing with my life, Christianity, religion, politics, and the politics of religion. He was so proud of me. My senior year in college, my parents couldn't come to the awards chapel at the end of the year, but Grandpa and Grandma were there with bells on, about to bust their buttons over my accomplishments. He intimidated Matt when they first met, but Grandpa made it clear he was proud of him too.

Grandpa was a world traveler. He was a smooth talker too, and could chat up just about anyone. In recent years, he started talking more about his experiences as a fighter pilot in the Black Sheep Squadron during WWII. Later, he was a spy in Indonesia. Then, after retiring from the Marines, he became a gentleman farmer with an orange grove. He built the mountain house himself. He was a follower of Christ, concerned about world missions, theology, and studying the Bible. He was a servant of the community, in retirement especially, when he drove ambulances and hearses, spoke at service clubs, and volunteered at the Chamber of Commerce. He loved Grandma, and they had fun teasing each other. In 8th grade, I interviewed him for a school project and he told me how important his family was to him.

I miss all these things already. Grandpa was a great man, and I'm grateful for all the time I spent with him, and to have a little bit of him in me.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

A fitting tribute to a special man who lived life well. He was SO PROUD of you and loved you MUCH!

lydiecita said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. I'm sorry to have to hear about it this way. I will probably call.

Becky Howell said...

Maureen, what a beautiful tribute to your grandfather. I only had the priviledge of meeting him a couple of times, but he was a gentleman and a sweetie. I only wish I could have been near enought to be able to comfort your family as your family was to me when I lost my father. Love you, Becky

DrCoolGuy said...

oh, mo. i am so sorry to hear about your grandpa. i don't know what to say. your description of him was so beautiful. he must have been an awesome man and wonderful Christian. isn't it great knowing that he is with Jesus? you and your family will be in my prayers. ~ will

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade — kept in heaven for you!" ~ 1 Peter 1:3-4

Anonymous said...

Dear MAUREEN: You have provide a most fitting and appropriate tribute to your Grandfather a marvelous man, a war hero. a dedicated family man and above all one dedicated to his Faith in Our Lord Jesus Christ who lived his faith daily by helping others. You do him proud by your memories which you have generously shared with others through your blog record. We know he was justly proud of you. God Bless you and your family in this time of sorrow. Love, Nana and Dado

Anonymous said...

My heart goes out to you and your family. Please know you are in our prayers and thoughts daily. And whenever you think of your Grandpa, I'll bet he will be thinking of you and will be keeping a close eye on his Mo!.

Aunt Pami said...

Aunt Pami said......

What a wonderful tribute to your Grandpa, Maureen Lee! I'm sure he's up there in heaven now (still laughin') and continuing his pride in you. Your special memories of him and the impact he had on your life was precious. I think all that knew him have had a difficult time with his sudden and tragic loss, but we also count among our blessings -- the fact that we knew him! I, too, have wonderful memories of the one I term the "funny man" -- way back before you and Matthew were around; I came to know him through your special Daddy, and could see certain (pretty hilarious) similarities between them. He truly touched many lives, mine was one of them; I so thankful to have known him and I appreciated his humor, his faith, his dedication to his family, his service to our country (and Uncle Rick is especially impressed by his military career as an "ACE"), and his particular interest in and caring of others. Thanks for sharing your thoughts --- he would be honored by your tribute. All my love.