I know you read my blog, so that's why I'm writing you a letter here for all the world to see. I want everyone to know how amazing you are and how much you mean to me.
The earliest memory of my life I can pull out of my brain is of my dad. But my second earliest memory is of you. We were at some kind of carnival or fun event outside and you were holding me. Pretty crazy that my two earliest memories involve the most important male figures in a little girl's life- a father and grandfather. Of course my mother and grandmothers were just as important in my life growing up, but there's something unique and special about the bond with daughters and fathers.
You were always involved in my life growing up. So many of my memories involve you and Grandma taking us to get ice cream, going 4-wheeling, crawling through the "forest" behind your house, eating fruit and swinging on the bench on the porch, going for drives in the canyon, playing cards, and of course, watching Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!
I always knew you cared about me, and you were always interested in my activities and hobbies. Even though for most of my life we've never lived near one another, we still talked on the phone at least every couple weeks. If something happened in my life, I couldn't wait to tell you about it. Even in college! It was just like second nature, call Mom and Dad then call Grandpa and Grandma. You were my cheerleaders. Always proud of my accomplishments and making me feel special and loved.
You bought me my first car when I turned 16. That old Buick Regal was faithful to the end! I never took it for granted and knew how blessed I was every single day I drove it around. I proudly proclaimed to the world that I owed my car to my Grandpa and Grandma- they didn't have to buy it for me but they did. What an honor and a privilege.
Most people don't know this Grandpa, but you and Grandma were the first relatives I told about my interest in my husband when we were "just friends" (even before my parents!) I told you about how he fixed my car for free and how I didn't know what to give back in return. Grandma told me to bake him cookies and bring them to his work. So I did it! Then my car broke again that same week (I promise I didn't have anything to do with it!) and when he fixed it for free that time, you told me to buy him a gift certificate to a fancy restaurant. Grandpa- you are a genius. Pure genius. I mean, he basically chased me down until I agreed to marry him after that, so I guess our plan worked, didn't it? :)
I can't imagine what life would have been like without you growing up. You are like second parents to me. You've been there for me through thick and thin, through the good times and the bad. You've seen me cry and you've seen me laugh. You've been a shoulder to cry on and a smile to lift my spirits. I can't believe I was so blessed to grow up with grandparents like you.
It hurts me so much to see you sick. I wish I could bring you a magic pill that would cure all your ailments and make everything better. But we don't get to pick and choose these sorts of things in life. But what we can chose is our attitude and our outlook on it all. I pray that you can look to our Heavenly Father to be your faithful shoulder to lean on, after all these years you've been that shoulder for so many other people. May you trust in Him and the gift of eternal life He has promised for all those who accept His Son as their Savior. Thank goodness we can't earn eternal life on our own! Thank goodness it's not about our own good works. Because of the sacrifice He paid for our sins with His death and resurrection, we can spend eternity with Him! And that is the hope we have for those who believe in His Son- the hope that someday we will all be together again! This life is just a glimpse of the life to come. Heaven is a place He has prepared for all His children- this earth is not our home.
I love you Grandpa. May you know how deeply I adore you and Grandma. Thank you for all you've done in my life. I'll be calling you soon, just like always :)
With all my love,