And the answer is…..A FUTURE GRANDPA!
Here I stand with my two grandpa’s in front of Grandpa Floyd’s house in Center, Colorado. This photo is estimated to have been taken in the late 1970’s, but I really don’t remember the occasion. I would suppose Grandpa Chester was in Center for the funeral of one of his siblings. At any rate, being a grandpa was the farthest thing from my mind on that day.
Grandpa Floyd had 27 grandchildren. Each and every one of us thought we were the only one and the most special. He worked hard as a blacksmith yet closed his shop multiple dozens of times each year to take the kids fishing, mountain driving, or snow machine play time. I never saw him impatient with us although I’m sure we were frustrating to him. We saw him 2 to 3 times per year, which is sort of distant yet each and every one of us were his best friend. I’ve been practicing my well, well, well, well as a grandpa greeting.
Grandpa Chester was just a big kid. He worked hard as a farmer but played even harder with his ever-changing herd of horses, ponies and mules. He had dozens of made-up songs to teach us and I’m certain mother and grandmother never knew of their content. We lived down the road from Chester and encountered him each and every day. We three (grand-children) were the apple of his eye and the 60 or so relatives who showed up three to four times a year for play day were his pride of life. He loved to entertain people.
Both were men of faith but in very different ways. Grandpa Floyd was outwardly quiet and inwardly extremely opinionated about his religion. He practiced the ultimate faith in serving sacrificially to Grandma Grace as she was incapacitated with strokes for more than 20 years. Grandpa Chester was very public with is faith, and also opinionated. He led singing at church and served on local and regional committees. He was always careful in the deal to ensure there could be no ethical criticism. I’m teaching my boys some songs…but I really can’t remember the ones Grandpa Chester taught me.
At 62 I finally became a grandpa but time and distance mostly separated us until these past four months.
These little guys are Judah–3 1/2 and Ahser– 1 year, and I am their papa. I don’t now what that means entirely yet the bonding we have experienced since Thanksgiving has been remarkable and a pile of fun.
I am certain they will be men of faith.
I am certain they will be full of “Dennis-the-menace” type mischief.
I am certain I will miss them more than I can express today, March 10, 2016, as I leave Fresno for mostly a year. They will not see me daily. They will not take me fishing or snowmobiling 2-3 times a year. Their excitement for me will be anticipation based upon fading memories of this winter.
Then we will build new memories, based on some really spectacular short-term visits…..
Until one day when the nomadic lifestyle in the motor home I now call “The Train” brings us back to a place where I can be a grandpa full-time. And my horses have motors.