Yesterday was Grampa Glenn’s 84th birthday. I think he’d say that he got the best birthday present ever, since that was the day that God called him home at last. I can’t honestly say that I’d wish him back from where he is now, but I sure will miss him.
Gramp spent a number of years as a Game Warden in Maine, and was even on the search and rescue team. (His supervisor was Aaron’s grandfather.) He sure had some amazing stories to tell from his time as a Game Warden, and I always enjoyed listening to them!
Later, Gramp became a pastor and missionary. He’s preached the Good News all across the states, and into Mexico and Canada as well. I’ll always remember him leading the singing in church. Gramp couldn’t carry a tune, that’s where I get it from, but he sure loved singing all of the old hymns anyway.
When I was a teenager, Gram and Mom took a quilting class at the local vocational school. On the days that they had class, my sister and I would spend the day with Gramp, studying at his dining room table. The quilt that’s covering my bed right now is one that he pieced while I studied! The name of the pattern is commonly called Trip Around the World, but Gramp insisted that he preferred the lesser-known name, Step Around the Mountain. In addition to sewing, Gramp could cook a mean lasagna, tackle home projects, and grow scary-hot peppers!
When I think about Gramp, I always remember the suspenders that were his signature item. He often wore red ones, as that was his favorite color. All of us grandkids took a turn snapping Gramp’s suspenders and giggling! He was equally at home in suits, overalls, and the cool leather vest that he had when I was a teen.
Our family loved to take day trips to Schoodic Point on the coast of Maine. I have fond memories of climbing all over the rocks with my cousins and feeding the seagulls stale bread and cookies. It’s no wonder that so many of our photos are from the coast! I particularly remember some of the times when all of us grandkids would pile into the motor home, or the back of Gram and Gramp’s Suburban for the drive down. I’m sure our parents all enjoyed a quiet drive anyway!
Summers often saw an assortment of grandkids spending days or weeks with Gram and Gramp. I’m not completely sure how they managed to stay sane with so many of us kids under their roof at once, but we loved it! Gramp had his coffee every morning, and maybe that’s why so many of us grandkids grew to like it as well. Gramp also told us jokes that prompted Gram to reply with, “Gleennn! Don’t tell them that!” Then all of us kids would giggle while Gramp just grinned at Gram!
Gram and Gramp were married for over 65 years. That’s an accomplishment and a half today! I sure am glad that there are a few photos of Gram and Gramp kissing. (As much as us grandkids may have exclaimed, “Ewww!”) My kids and grandkids will be able to look at those photos and know that they loved each other very much.
I know that Gramp would be the first one to tell me that I shouldn’t be sad for him, and I’m not. I’m sad for those of us who have to miss him. Someone once told me that when you miss someone this much, it’s because there was so much love. Relationships like that are a treasure, even when the time comes to say goodbye…
You’ll have to forgive me a few tears Gramp, because I won’t be able to have coffee and muffins with you again… at least not this side of Heaven. I’ll hold the memories close though, and be forever thankful that when I think of my Gramp, I’ll think of how much you loved us.