Thursday, June 9, 2011

happy birthday, Grampa Paul

My Gramps and me on my wedding day

As I am writing this, I realize that this will probably be published on June 9th, but June 8th is my Grampa's birthday.

It wasn't too long ago I wrote a post about my other Grampa. Well, let's just say last year was a difficult year for my family. My Grampa Paul passed away nine months ago, and today he would have been 83. 

Gramps was a difficult man to get to know, and somewhat intimidating. I remember how nervous I felt to call him up to tell him I was getting married, and his reaction sure didn't disappoint. I believe it was something to the effect of , " What?! Are you kidding!!!!???" As you can tell by the picture, he eventually warmed up to the idea.

Even though my Gramps wasn't the most sensitive man, nor was he open with his feelings, he never failed to let me know how much he loved me. I can't even count the number of times he would slip me a $50 bill for a little fun money, or send me e-cards, pass along helpful life skills tips, and show up to my softball games. Or that one time he drove 4 hours to pick me up and then take me to buy my first car. He was always looking out for me. 

My Grampa was articulate and intelligent. He lived humbly so he could give generously. He loved to eat. Watching him at Thanksgiving time was the best." Mmmm, Mmmm, Mmmm, this is SOOOOO good" he would say as he slowly (and I mean VERY slowly) polished off his plate. He loved his Honda Goldwing motorcycle. We would always here him pull up to our house with his dixieland jazz tunes blaring. He had a great appreciation for music and a stellar voice. He would always add a little bass line to any song he would listen to ..."bum, ba-bum, bumm". He loved to golf. He loved his family, even more than he loved his country. And that was a lot.

And he called me Andy. 

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