A grandpa’s heart is this big!
I make a small notation in my journal whenever I get an idea for a blog post. Today’s post is one that I have ruminated over for quite some time. Part of my hesitation has been that although my life is my story, I would never intentionally want to hurt someone else – especially not when they are on their own grief journey.
The blog posts that come to fruition are often ones that I have thought about for days, sometimes weeks. Along the way, the words just come together or I receive confirmation (like manna from heaven) that” indeed!” I was meant to write the sentences swirling in my head. Many times my own emotions are enough slow me down before I put pen to paper (or in this case, fingers to keyboard).
This morning after devotions and time spent with God, I checked in on my friends and saw this video. Needless to say, I was moved to tears. And almost as if, God whispered, I knew it was time to share this story.
My last post was a tender story of an adopted grandma and how special she was in my life. I never really had an adopted grandpa. My children; however, have a different story. If you take anything away from this post, I hope it is this message. Children need loving people in their lives. I am so thankful that some families share (even though to many it would seem unnatural to welcome another family into their own). My life and the lives of my children have been blessed in countless ways because others made the sacrifice of opening the hearts to love intentionally.
Over the years, this grandpa just sort of assimilated my girls into his life because two of his actual grandchildren are their classmates. His daughter (their mom) has gone from acquaintance to closest confidante. We have had the joy of getting to know them all through our mutual kids’ activities. Many laughs have been shared. But mostly, many hours have been spent watching our kids grow up together.
Due to geographical constraints and the fact that I never finished working on that time travel machine, both sets of my children’s grandparents are not able to attend every concert or ball game. I am so thankful that technology continues to make advancements, because for the first time ever, distance grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins were able to “attend” those milestone events in their own homes via live-streaming.
But back here at home, my kiddos never felt completely neglected, because they soon discovered that a grandpa’s heart has more than enough room to encourage them all. Grandpa G always complimented them after games and concerts, making sure to point out a few things that he liked the best. To them, it has always felt that they had someone extra special in their corner.
Both Grandpa G and Grandma J have had their fair share of helping transport all the kiddos to various things. A natural by-product was for my girls to have special stories of time spent with them. These are their favorite ones.
When Cloie sang the National Anthem at a high school basketball game, there was Grandpa G with tears in his eyes in the stands. She was touched to know that her performance meant that much to him, even if she still thinks that all the applause is because people love America that much.
Over this past winter, there was an incident that touched my heart and solidified confirmation that love extends and overflows from a grandpa’s heart.
After earning her place on the varsity basketball team along with Grandpa G’s granddaughter, Erin, a freshman, made the front page of the sports section with a great shot. Even though the team had a devastating loss the night before, we thought the picture might perk her up. It did . . . until we read the caption, which listed not her name but one of the senior captains instead. It became a joke in our family, but it wasn’t so funny to Grandpa G.
Apparently he called his daughter at work because he was hopping mad. Her version of the story had me both in giggles and tears, because he didn’t really let her get a word in edgewise.
Did you see the paper?
Well, what in the mayo? (Okay, his version was more colorful than mayonnaise.)
I am so mad. Did you see what they did to Erin?
She has worked so hard, and they couldn’t get her blasted name right.
I’m thinking of calling them and letting them know what a horrible job they did.
Horrible, just horrible.
The giggles part came from the fact that my friend thought her dad needed to calm down, and the tears from the fact that someone other than us cared that much.
Usually I am the one who has no problems standing up and sharing at funerals and memorial services, but for some reason, I just couldn’t get the words out the day we remembered Grandpa G. His passing was so unexpected. You would think that I do unexpected well, given our family’s story. But I don’t. Even though, I wanted to share the story of how much that newspaper mix-up meant to me, I didn’t. Losing him was just too big a wound (and we were only bit players in his life).
It is never too late to make a difference in someone’s life. Take the time to be genuine in loving a child. Make time for them. Notice the areas where they excel and encourage them in the ones they don’t. Or take a page from G’s book, and just show up. It matters. It always matters!
To his family – thank you for sharing him with us. If heaven has access to this blog, thank you Grandpa G for always having room enough to love my kids!