Sunday, January 31, 2016

Great-Pa



At the time, it tasted like the perfect combination of spicy salsa over scrambled eggs,
just the way I liked it.

But now, I can see, it's not only enduring 8 ruckus cousins piled on the floor for the summer, 
but making their favorite breakfasts for them each day.

At the time, it was glimmer of the holiday decorations around the house; 
the lantern and lights were always bright, inviting, always welcoming to me.

But now, it's a man who fought for the right to celebrate holidays in this country 
whatever way we please, and embraces that right.

At the time, it was the delight of finding the extra few treats on 
Halloween that appeared in my pumpkin and seeing the hand which slipped them in.

But now, it's a man who is generous and kind to his children's children.

At the time, it was the joy of walking from Holly Hills
to have candy with Grandpa after school instead of going home to carrots and apples.

But now, it's a man who enjoys life and enjoys making life more enjoyable.

At the time, it was subtle pointing and the eyebrows sending out hints to find 
the rather difficult locations of Easter eggs given to me and not anybody else.

But now, it's a man who provides for his family, especially the good stuff.

At the time, it was always the right song for the occasion:
from “Grandma spilled the gravy” to “O Holy Night”... right on the tip of his tongue.

But now, it's a song we all should be singing.

At the time, it was a fridge always stocked and brimming with Country Time Lemonade, 
just because Grandpa knew it was my favorite.

But now, it's a man who gives every individual a space in his family, 
gives them a place to be known and loved.

At the time, it was the way he smiled down from the crowd when I graduated high school, 
his eyes alone in the crowd beaming, “that one’s mine.”

But now, it's a man who's opinion and esteem are so highly valued.

At the time, it was enduring incredibly boring commencement speeches and addresses by the 
so-and-so of the dean of the so-and-so departments of such-and-such faculties at CU, 
just to let me know he was proud.

But now, it's a man who has given of himself that I might have something 
as valuable as education, character and hope.

At the time, it was Grandpa, just Grandpa, and all the things that made him Grandpa.

But now, it's a man who, by his 95 years, has made not only 
our country,
but our people, 
our family, 
and ourselves better. 

Grandpa, you have given us, with no small sacrifice, 
stones with which we can build our lives on yours. 


It is a unique honor and privilege to share your name: to be a White with you at our helm. 

Thank you, Grandpa, for these 95 years. 

I love you,

Rachel

1 comment:

Karyn said...

Beautifully written, Rachel. Thank you for sharing.