I have been extremely blessed to know many great and amazing men in my life. The greatest man I know is my husband Ben--bar none, but a very close second comes my dad, my father-in-law, my grandfathers, and Ben's grandfather. My brother, brothers-in-law, uncles, and cousins are also right up there. I have been extremely blessed to have both sets of my grandparents be a big part of my whole life. Both sets are in their 80's now, but they are all still with us. I am so glad my kids have been able to have their great-grandparents be a big part of their lives. It is a huge blessing.
These are my maternal grandparents--DeeDee and Grum. Grum was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer in August of last year. Just in case you didn't know, let me just make it clear that cancer sucks. I know many of you can attest to that from personal experience. This picture was taken in November when my family went out to visit my grandparents and in-laws for Thanksgiving. They do not live close to me--about 1150 miles away, but I didn't know what the next year would bring, and I wanted to see them, so we made the long drive for Thanksgiving. We had a great time, and I am so glad I went.
We don't know how long my Grum has left. We don't know how long any of us have. Life is a precious gift, and we need to cherish each moment we have. Even though we can't see him often, we call, we send letters and cards, and we pray fervently for him and my DeeDee every day. It is in the Lord's hands, and I know everything will be okay. I know that if he or I go tomorrow that we will see each other and our families again. Families are Forever.
My Grum is a great man. He has taught me so much. I didn't ever grow up living very close to my grandparents. Most of my life they lived about 1150 miles away, but that doesn't mean they weren't an important part of my life. They are a huge part of my life and why I am who I am. I just wanted so share some thoughts I have been having lately about my wonderful Grum.
Grum tells the best stories. As a little kid I would love to curl up next to him on the couch and listen to his stories. My favorite was his version of The Three Bears with Papa bear, Mama bear and Yucky, pucky baby bear who didn't like their porridge (who would? he would ask) so they went to McDonald's for breakfast. A classic bedtime story at it's best.
DeeDee is an amazing cook. She makes world renown chocolate chip cookies. Grum makes London Broil. If Grum ever cooked, you always knew what was on the menu. Yum!
Grum always listens, and he always has a plan, a deal, and advice for you.
Grum tells the best jokes.
He and DeeDee love their family so much, would do anything for them, and are so proud of them. They had a license plate for many years that read "My grandkids are cuter than yours." One day he told the story of a lady that followed him home, pulled up behind him and put up a sign that said, "No they aren't," and then drove away. Grum thought that was pretty funny.
When I was 14 I could start driving in the state I lived in. I remember one of my aunts giving me a piece of driving advice. "STOP" she said, "does not stand for 'slight tap on pedal." I remember thinking, she must have learned the opposite of that from Grum because anyone that has ever driven with him knows his definition of STOP is 'slight tap on pedal.'
DeeDee always sent us packages growing up full of individually wrapped cookies, candy, sometimes homemade seasonal pillowcases, etc. She continues to send them to me and my kids. Love in a box. The packages were always from DeeDee, but Grum always stuck something in from him. A note and a $2 bill. That is Grum's signature. Grum is just like those $2 bills.
$2 are rare. I remember one time my daughter took her $2 bill to the store to buy something. The clerk wouldn't take it. She didn't think it was real. She had never seen one or heard of one. She had to call her manager before she would take it. The manager said, "Wow. Those are really rare!" Grum is very rare. There are not many people like him. He is one in a million.
$2 bills are priceless. They have a face value of $2, but are really worth more. When another daughter was young she took one for show and tell. One boy asked her how much it was worth. She, being a very smart kid, looked at him and said, "$5." "Wow! Can I buy it?" he said. She didn't do it, but that would have been a deal Grum would be very proud of :) Grum is worth much more that you think, he is priceless.
$2 bills are treasures. I try to go through my kids' stuff every so often because they have so much, and it is much easier to sort through and get rid of stuff when they are gone. As I have gone through each of my 4 children's things at different times I have found a $2 bill from Grum safely tucked away. It is in a safe place, an important place. They aren't going to spend it. They are keeping it. It is a treasure to them, just like Grum is.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for my Grum. Thank you for putting a $2 bill in my life. He is rare, priceless, and a treasure, and I will always be grateful and continually blessed that you allowed him to be my grandfather, part of my life, and my children's lives. Bless and keep him and let him feel of our love.
I love you Grum!