Sunday, November 6, 2011

Words of Advice....

Last month my grandfather
turned 80.
We had a small party
for him at home.
My grandfather has never been a man of many words
and as he has gotten older sometimes I find myself
struggling to try and find what to talk about with him.
He does enjoy when we come to visit,
watching the kids run around,
and a good meal.
So on this birthday...
after he blows out his candles on his cake,
my mother asks him-
"Dad, do you have any words of advice or wisdom for us now that
you are 80?"
He stared for a long time, and said "No."
My mom couldn't believe that so she said
"Really? Nothing? Oh, come on..."
He stared again for a few minutes and then said

I didn't expect this man of few words to have come up with
some long speech.
So I thought it was kind of fitting, kind of funny.

What else could you expect from someone
who enlisted in the Navy during WWII
when he was actually underage (probably under 16) ?
Who lived through that war and saw God knows what as a young boy/man?
Who lived through the Depression in the rural south and
whose parents were Scotch Irish and Cherokee Indian.
(Unfortunately ,socially, two things people did not want to admit to at that time)
Who married at an age when most of us were finishing
 still in high school
 had a child to support?
Who could have handled that kind of pressure before the ago of 21?
Even though all these were common practice and totally "normal" for that time period.
Who struggled with alcohol but finally beat it....
He lost his middle child unexpectedly several years ago
and is the only surviving child in his own family now.

I imagine life has been hard....
I do know there were ,
and are
 good times in there too.

There is a good part to this story ...
As we were leaving that day...
My 3 year old walked out onto the back porch...
( let me explain my grandmother has a bit of a thing for thrift shopping too...
like that is a surprise!)
she has a good portion of her back porch stacked with some of her "treasures"
which is always a bone of contention between
my grandfather and her....
as I was saying...
My 3 year old walks out onto the back porch and looks around
motions a sweeping gesture with his arm covering the "pile"
and says
"Gees' whata' MESS!"
"All Junk!"

I could not help myself ,
I burst out laughing!
My grandparents were behind me and my grandmother didn't hear what he had said...
my grandfather sure did!
I whipped my head around to look at him
and out of that quiet, tiny man
came the biggest grin and laugh I have ever heard from him...
He then said
"See, even a 3 year old agrees with me! Who needs to be 80 to have wisdom?"
We all burst out laughing and then of course had to
explain what went on to grandma...
Who in the end had a good chuckle herself too!

I'm not sure if this story had the point some of you were expecting
I just had to share it..
Life does not always hand us what we wish for....
but there are some true good times and some true hard times..
Many people look back on those Hard times and realise those are what
make us who we are
what really taught us lessons
and made us for the better.
I think Life is how you decide to view it and your attitude that keeps you going.

Life is a big Mixed bag if you ask me.....

1 comment:

  1. Your grandfather is an awful lot like my father -- and they're the same age except my father is in heaven now. He also enlisted in the Navy, lying about his age. Such a familiar story, a man of little words. I loved your ending, though!