I worked in the marketing department of an engineering firm one summer in college. (Yes, this job was super helpful in my teaching career.) Anyway, I worked with a group of three ladies, and we talked and laughed as we worked. I’m pretty much the most open book ever, so they learned a lot about me and my family. One day, my dad came by to see a friend of his that was an engineer there. He also got to meet my co-workers and see my first-ever cubicle. After he left, the ladies said, “I thought he’d be much bigger.”
This was not a dig at my dad’s size but a confusion based on how I described him. It seems that the way I talked about him made him seem 10 feet tall and bulletproof. The stories made him out to be like Gandalf, wise and legendary, but certainly not old and grey! Those are highlights.
It is not an exaggeration though that my father is much sought after for his wise counsel on everything from resumes to woodworking. His advice is considerate and no-holds-barred; he will tell you where you made mistakes in the context of getting you to a better position. He takes this role very seriously no matter what question you ask. He has time for you and your concerns. Every person in his family knows this.
That’s not to say he is only a serious man with serious thoughts. My sons adore playing with him. They have since they first knew him, and I know they always will. He was their first hide-and-seek partner! He sends them Oreo’s and Matchbox cars in the mail. And don’t even get me started on how they ‘ohh’ and ‘ahh’ over his stories. No one tells better stories than Grandpa.
I could go on with my father’s good traits and lessons he’s taught me. But that’s not what I have in my heart. What I want to say can’t be said it seems. It is banging all around my mind. Thoughts of health and home. Thoughts of pride and love. Wanting him to know he is what we need no matter what life throws at him or us. Wanting him to know that he can’t solve all his family’s problems, but we love him for wanting to. We love him just being near us and with us. I can’t express how it feels to have him be so close to our kids. I can’t say how much he helped me with my early days of parenting and suffering with PPD. He and my mom have just been invaluable for my whole stinkin’ life! 😉
We love you Dad/Grandpa. We can’t wait to see you next weekend!