Friday, October 14, 2005


When I remember my grandfather I smell old spice. His face lined and dark, pitted nose, and a thin cover of white wispy hair. I don't remember if he smiled much, but I remember him like he did. John Deere hat with a pack of cigarettes hidden beneath, ready to walk out to the pond or pump house. His fingers were as thick as my wrists, and he'd buy me anything I wanted at the coffee shop. He was hard. His life was hard, but he always had a soft spot for me, and for that I'll always have a spot for him. Memories become our own icons and touch stones of what it means to be a man, how to judge what really matters, and how to hold on to your pride no matter what other people think. He couldn't read or write much. He wasn't educated much, but he never hesitated to tell me pearls of wisdom. He never acted dumb, he never appologized for himself. In my memory, he just was. He farmed. He enjoyed. He sat under a tree in the front yeard waving at cars and drinking tea. His dogs were obedient, and he didn't need a book or class or animal psychology. They just obeyed. He was an old man when I knew him, but he always worked. He had a life I don't understand. But I always understood he was proud of me. He didn't have trouble communicating, he just did. One man to another. Nothing to prove to his grandson, and I had nothing to prove back. He was simple and in the eyes of the world he may not have done much, but I think of him and councel that memory. He's a big man in my life, full of useful wisdom and a picture of a man who loved his grandson.


Anonymous said...

It is a very thoughtful tribute

Melissa Miesse said...

It is funny how our memories are so similar. We were with him at different times but he stayed the same with each of us. I cant help but cry...he would be proud of who we have become.
And I think that he would get a kick out of Jackson.

Love Meli

maxweed said...

I like your grandpa -- just from what you've written. He seems like a man. His own. Not someone elses' man, but his own. It seems there are less and less men like that these days. Many men have their heads filled with commands from commercials and cannot sit under a tree without feeling like they should be doing something else or be someone else. There is much good in a simple life.

Mama said...

Pop would be so pleased you remember him in such a respected way. He loved you very much and wanted the best for you always. He came from a generation of different values, better values, but we shared common goals and love of family. Thanks for expressing your tribute to him in writing and sharing it with all of us.

Ray Wong said...

Nice! Your grandpa would be proud.