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Charleston, SC, United States
"Fear is a stranger to the ways of love. Identify with fear, and you will be a stranger to yourself." -ACIM

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I Hate Crying

I wish I could give all of you a happy and everything is ok blog post, but that isn’t how this one is going to go.

I got a call on Tuesday afternoon from my mom and the second I picked up the phone, I knew it wasn’t good. My grandfather died on Monday night.

The man lived for 98 long years and I will never forget him as long as I have breath. I can still remember when I was a kid and every afternoon when I got out of kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade him being there to pick me up. The man taught me how to write my first sentence, how to spell my own name and how to care for others. I can remember Christmases, church services, summer afternoons and weekends home from college. When I needed him, he was there. That’s about as much as you can say about anybody. He was always there.

I don’t think I ever had a real conversation with my grandfather after I reached my adult years. I didn’t have to; I knew what his answers would be. He lived his life as an open book. There were only a few simple principles to it: God, Family, and anyone in need of a helping hand. I truly think that he was and will continue to be one of the guiding lights in my life. At least I already realize that I’ll never be half the man he was; I don’t have that kind of strength in me. Nobody does. Others may disagree, but to me that’s truth. I’m trying to dedicate my life to service, and in some small way I’m doing this because I know it’s the right thing and all he ever wanted was for my family to be good people, and to try and do the right thing.

He grew up poor, served his country in WWII, worked hard, went to church every Sunday, raised four children and served his community at every opportunity. He read his Bible and was undefeated at Scrabble. I’ve never met in all my travels a man whose principles were held as tightly or who had a mind as sharp as my grandfather’s.

Now I have only tears to shed and a life to remember and look up to. I feel helpless here on the other side of the world. I can’t help my mother mourn or pick up the pieces; I can’t give my grandmother a hug and cry with her. I don’t cry (especially in front of people) but today has been spent in pain and nothing but tears. I went on a long walk by myself this afternoon just to be away from everyone. I looked out over the mountains and cried till it hurt.

I didn’t know what to do so I just picked a red rose and wrote my Granddaddy a letter. I think since here they keep the dead for a week before they stop mourning, I’ll keep the rose and letter hanging for that long before I take them down. It may sound strange, but I seriously don’t know what to do right now other than that.


Granddaddy,
I wrote you this letter and put it outside my door… I’ll always remember and love you.

6 comments:

conroy hudlow said...

Nice thoughts, Andrew. So sorry you're on the other side of the planet. Kelley asked if you were going to be able to get back but I knew that wouldn't happen. She'd like to have seen you.

Miriam, Ken and I were in Waycross on the 8th and I'm glad we got to see him.

So we'll all miss him in different ways. One things for sure, if there's a heaven he's there singing slightly off key.

Stay safe,

conroy

Kelley said...

Andrew:

Well said.

When I found out about granddaddy, my first thoughts were of you and that you would not be able to make it back. Then I thought about summer vacations with Granddaddy and you. The trip to Rock City and the Space Center in Huntsville. My thoughts and prayers of with you.

You are doing good work over there. Granddaddy was proud of you, as am I. Be careful and be safe.

Kelley

Ma' said...

I love you with all my heart & feel you here in spirit. I'll give Meemaw a hug just from you. I know that G'diddy was so proud of you & the man that you've become. I know that he is responsible in so many ways for the principles that you live by. If you can, save your rose & we'll put it on his grave together when you come home. Love you--Ma'

eleaine said...

Here were my thoughts about Grandaddy (from a song):

His back is bent and weary,
His voice is tired and low,
His sword is worn from battle,
And his steps, they've gotten slow.

But he used to walk on water,
Or it seemed that way to me.
I know he moved some mountains,
And never left his knees...

Strike up the band,
Assemble the choir,
Another Soldier's coming home.
Another warrior here's the call,
He's waited for so long.

He'll battle no more,
He's won the war.
Make sure Heaven's table
Has room for at least one more.
Sing a welcome song,
Another Soldier's coming home.
---------------------
Grandaddy's life truly touched an array of people - including me! I love you Andrew and I am sending you a big hug! The letter was a great idea and I appreciate you sharing your thoughts with us at this time. I too have cried...

Leslie said...

My Dear Andre....

I was so happy to finally find where I put your blog address, only to find your latest entry

I am so very sorry to hear about the passing of your grandfater. I know how much he meant to you

As I sit here in front of the keyboard no words seem to be the right words....no sentence seems to be the right one...

I love you very much and think of you often.....

Linda Hornsby Bohart said...

No greater words could be written about a man than the words of love & admiration written by his own grandson. You have touched my heart the way that your grandfather touches yours. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful man with me.

My thoughts & prayers are with you & you mom,

Linda H. Bohart